Teen Troubles Can Ignite Marital Troubles

Famed humorist and author Mark Twain once said, “When a child turns 13, put them in a box. Cut a hole in the box to pass in food and water. When they turn 16, plug up the hole.” Unfortunately, teen troubles aren’t that easy to solve, and they can strain all of the relationships in the family . . . especially the parent’s marriage.

I received an email not long ago from a desperate grandmother who is rearing her teenage granddaughter. She told me, “She has always been hard to handle, but lately she has been getting out of hand. She is angry, disrespectful and mean. We’ve tried counseling and different parenting techniques, without success. Now, our marriage is on the brink of divorce.”

Did you notice how she immediately shifted from talking about her granddaughter’s issues, to mentioning how it is affecting her own marriage? I hear it all the time — and I see it on the faces of parents who bring their child to us at Heartlight. The stress and strain of dealing with a difficult child bent on self-destruction is more than most marriages can bear. The teen invariably pits the parents against each other and the parents begin blaming each other, or they conflict over the how to “fix” their child. It can and does tear families apart. Continue reading “Teen Troubles Can Ignite Marital Troubles”

Marital Jeopardy Sparked by Teen Crisis

DangerThis weekend on our half-hour Parenting Today’s Teens radio program we’re talking about the impact of divorce on teenagers. I invite you to listen on your local station, or listen anytime after Saturday on our radio website, www.parentingtodaysteens.org.  

The separation or divorce of parents can deeply affect teenagers and cause them to lose their footing in life, but have you ever thought how hard the crisis you’re having with a difficult teenager is on your marriage? Really hard! It can even lead to divorce.

So, let’s discuss some proactive steps to take to fight against this tendency, since it needs to be something you are aware of even as you are dealing with your struggling teen.  After all, the failure of your marriage in the midst of the turmoil can lead to even more dire consequences for your teenager, and of course, for you. Continue reading “Marital Jeopardy Sparked by Teen Crisis”

Damage Control for Teens of Divorce

Unappy teen girlWhen parents split up, it can cause a number of problems in the life of their children; especially if the children are in the pre-teen or teen years.  I would never say divorce is responsible for every problem for the kids from split families who come to our Heartlight teen counseling program, but it is a major factor for many.  Divorce piles on emotional problems for a teen a little higher than there would normally be for an already emotional adolescent. Continue reading “Damage Control for Teens of Divorce”