It is generally believed that children of divorced parents are more likely to face mental problems, get into troubled relationships, coast through school with bad grades and, overall, face a greater chance to resort to drugs and other substances in search of a support mechanism. There is proof to the contrary. Almost two-thirds of such teens do not face these kinds of consequences in the long run. It has been found that divorce can unexpectedly have some positive outcomes. Six of these outcomes are discussed below.
1. Reduced Levels of Domestic Tension
Firstly, teens of divorced parents do not have to endure the stress that results from strained relations of their parents who tend to get into arguments and are at daggers drawn. Moreover, distress caused by constant bickering could lead them to unconsciously start accepting such behavior as a normal part of life and even exhibit it themselves, thereby putting themselves at risk. So, divorce may result in mental peace for them. Definitely, separation can also cause stress as there is a lot of adjustment that needs to be done in response. However, over time the effects of separation outweigh the effects of living with parents who can’t stand to be around each other. After all, post-divorce there is the possibility to spend individual time with each parent.
2. Improved Coping Skills
Initially, divorce may feel like a complete shock to teenagers. However, over time it develops their ability to deal with negative circumstances in a better manner. Teenage years present a time when they have volatile emotions and they are grappling with ways to handle whatever comes their way. At this impressionable age, if they are put in a situation like divorce they get to find a way that helps them overcome difficult times later in life too. They may exhibit higher levels of adaptability when life gets tough in the future.
3. Increased Empathy for Others
Divorce can increase the levels of empathy in teenagers. This, in turn, improves their ability to feel for others who are in troubled circumstances and connect with them too. That can result in better and life-long relations with others like friends or partners. Moreover, they have to comfort their parents as they navigate through a broken marriage and become familiar with feeling like an adult prematurely.
4. Exalted Sense of Relying on and Regulating Oneself
Teenagers that shuffle between their parents’ individual homes or those who are left with a single parent only have to learn to be dependent on themselves as they do not have the luxury of both of their parents spending time with them. This would mean that they would need to shed a greater load of household chores, for instance, or have a greater role to play to look after themselves, especially in the absence of a busy parent who is working all day long. Consequently, there are higher chances that they will have to adjust to the reality of almost ‘raising’ themselves and finding a way to become self-reliant.
Having said that, they would also become more capable of self-regulation as, caught up in different situations, they would have to adjust to differentiating between right and wrong. Moreover, if in case they are presented with differing rules at their parents’ homes, they would be faced with a greater set of rules to navigate. As a result, they may become more responsible and accountable to themselves.
5. Greater Understanding of Relationships
Teens who witness divorce come to realize that it is the best outcome to a vicious cycle of fighting and suffering. Conversely, growing up against the backdrop of a toxic relationship will normalize bad relationships for them. They could end up falling into troubled relationships themselves and believe that it is the only way to live. Divorce, on the other hand, serves as an example of how to deal with unhealthy relationships that are damaging for all the stakeholders involved. If, ever in life they realize that their relationships have taken a turn for the terrible they would know they have the option to reset themselves. It can be even more enlightening for them if, let’s say, a parent of theirs found marital bliss with someone else post-divorce.
6. Stronger Connections with Each Parent
It may seem counterintuitive, however, teenagers whose parents are divorced inform of having more robust relationships with each of their parents in comparison to teens who do not have divorced parents. The reason for this is that these teens get to be with each of their parents, sometimes in equal measure. The time they spend with a parent doing things like everyday chores, or meeting them for something like a special outing, can increase the connection they feel. Additionally, a teenager can be more aware of the individual personalities of both of his/her parents when they are separated – this may not be as likely when they are living with both of their parents.
Divorce May Not Be So Bad
Yes, we have come to believe that divorce leads to degradation of family and the cohesion of society. But, the six points mentioned above would hopefully make sense to parents who would be better off separated. They may come to realize after reading this article that they may be acting for the benefit of the whole family, not just for their own mental well-being and bliss. They should not probably have to worry so much for their teens if they did decide to put an end to a relationship, knowing that they may end up stronger, more resilient, more self-dependent and more watchful of their choices in life. They may even improve the emotional bonds they share with both their parents.