Somebody's Got To Go
A defiant teen can strain even the best of marriages. When parents don't agree about child raising techniques, problems quickly arise. If parent's can not come to some type of arrangement, one that they can both get behind, the stress can actually contribute to a divorce. There are obviously more than one issue behind the divorce threat, but a troubled teen can push things over the top. Parents that are struggling with their marriage and also trying to work through issues with their teen should agree to disagree about their marriage differences.
The parents should develop a cohesive plan that will help the teen. This will require parents putting their differences aside for the benefit of their child. It will not be easy, but if the parents want to keep their teen from slipping away they will need to work together. Children can sense when parents are not together on an issue. The teens manipulation may drive the wedge in deeper to divide the parents and get what they want.
Blood In The Water
When the teen sees the division in parenting rules, they know they can play one parent against the other. The teen doesn't realize the devastation a divorce will have on their family, they just want what they want, and they want it now. Once the teen sees the success that can come from working parents against each other to get what they want, they will become very skilled at using this technique.
In some families the teen may have learned this technique from their parents. It is not unusual for parents to use their children as pawn's in a game they play against each other. While this is common in many divorced families, it can begin long before the divorce actually takes place. It is no wonder children and teens manipulate parents, they learned it from them.
Do It For The Kids
It is imperative for parents to put their differences aside when dealing with their children. As difficult as this may seem it may be the only way to keep a teen from heading down a negative path. When the teen watches first hand the family disintegrating in front of them, they can easily begin a descent of their own. The teen will turn to his or her friends as their new support system. If the teen is hanging around the wrong type of friends they may end up abusing drugs, in trouble with the law, and failing in school. When a teen's friends become their only steady line of support one can only imagine what kind of advice they are receiving.
As much distaste as parents may be feeling for each other they will need to get together on how to deal consistently with their children. When another man and or woman enter the picture they too must join in the same game plan. Teens will look for the weakest link in the relationship and work on them to get what they want. This is not meant to sound like teens are terrible and that divorce will always produce a terrible situation. Divorce may not produce these types of results, but parents need to vigilante to assure things don't get out of control in regards to their children.
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