Teenagers love to believe that they are old enough to know better for whatever reason, and I was as guilty as any. At about the age of 15, teenagers start believing that they are much smarter than their parents. This transition is painstaking and trying for married parents, but it is especially complex for divorced couples. The complexity of this teenage phenomenon can be exacerbated by one or both of the divorce couples poisoning the mind of the teen against the other parent.
Yes believe it or not, the two “once love birds” now hate each others guts and will resort to what ever means to make the ex spouse’s life a pure hell. There’s no better person to help them attack the other parent than the rebellious young teenager who, quite honestly, can play each parent like a fiddle. The motivation varies from just wanting to proverbially stink needles in the other parent’s eyes to wanting more time with the child to reduce or increase child support (by the way, you can still owe child support even though you have custody of the child 50% of the time). In either case, there is just one loser-the child. Let’s face it, no one deserves to be treated like a pawn, especially young children who are already going through the tumultuous emotional throngs of a divorce. These types of parents should try to take one second and think about the affect its going to have on the child. They also should try and be objective-maybe the other parent is more strict at a time when “more strict” is needed, Or, maybe the other parent is more loving at time when when a big time “loving” is needed.
So if you are a divorced parent with a young teenager, try not to use the youth like a chess piece. Treat him or her with hard love, think about what the other parent brings to the table as a parent and just let life happen. I guarantee it will eventually feel much better than the strategic placement of those needles.