Children Rebel and Parents Separate: Family Dynamics In Tough Times

Children rebelling and acting out during divorce is common but also stressful. Read through this article for tips to make it through.
DivorcePlus Decorative Image - Teen boy with hat looking at camera - angry and rebellious

Children are rebellious, definitely. It’s like an earthquake shaking up the foundation of what once seemed unshakeable, the family unit. If you have children with whom you are sailing through this hurricane in a leaky boat, it may seem so because all may be lost. But here’s the thing: You’re not alone, and there is a way out of this storm.

The Causes of Rebellion

First things first—rebelling in children during or after divorce is not unusual. This is how they react to their world being totally transformed. Think about it; their formerly protected world now has many unknowns. It is okay for kids to feel angry, confused and sad all at the same time. And sometimes these feelings transform into rebellion.

Communication is Key

In such moments, communication should become your best friend. Maintain those lines and let your kids know that they can reach out to you anytime they wish to discuss anything with you. Not all situations will be easy ones anyway. They might resist or roll eyes on you and use “you wouldn’t understand” phrase but don’t give up on them yet! Show them that you’re available whenever they want someone to talk to.  If you are unsure where to begin, considering discussing your options with a parenting coordinator.

Consistency as Well as Collaboration

Consistency really matters especially if it comes down to co-parenting situations. Your kids should realize that rules still apply even though things have changed around here. A united front from both of you parents is very key. It might not be easy in terms of cooperation given the circumstances but it’s for the sake of your children’s well-being as well. 

Support Systems Save Lives

You shouldn’t go through this alone. Find support systems that work for you – lean on family members, friends, and don’t be afraid to seek professional advise.  Keep in mind that, like you, your children will need a support system.  Be their confident, listen to their concerns, and encourage your child to open up about their lives.  Children often want to be heard but are not necessarily seeking your advise or point of view.  It’s good practice to ask “Do you want me to just listen, or do you want to know what I think?”  Whether it’s a friendly teacher, sibling or parent, talking will help them deal with their feelings in a healthy manner.

Be Patient. Be Calm

Patience will be your anchor and will help keep you moving when the going gets tough. There may be times when progress feels slow, and sometimes it might feel like you’re taking two steps back for every step forward. But remember, healing takes time as well as adjusting to a new normal.  Don’t rush your kids or even yourself.

Smile amidst the Chaos

It is important to find smiley moments and order during all this messy life. Simple pleasures like family movie nights, a walk in the park or cooking together can provide some continuity and solace. They are always moments of joy to remind you that happiness still exists.  Don’t get trapped with your blinders.  Look around – remember that your children are looking to you for guidance and to show them that everything is ok.

The Light at The End of The Tunnel

Believe it or not there is something positive that can come out of these difficult days. Overcoming challenges can bring families closer together. This helps build resilience, understanding and compassion among family members; ultimately teaching us how to handle adversities when they occur. It’s an opportunity to start afresh with perhaps even more solid foundation.

Some Final Thoughts

Steering through the stormy waters of divorce with wayward kids trailing behind is not an easy task. Nevertheless, you can make it by maintaining open communication, being consistent, having a good support system, being patient and finding joy in some moments. Always remember that it’s fine to ask for help and it’s okay to have tough days and what matters is that you move forward.

This is about establishing a fresh kind of normalcy where love, understanding and toughness are key. Until then though take a deep breath, hold on tight and remember that every storm will pass.

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