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How to help your teen daughter through your divorce

Teenage girls are notoriously dramatic; countless parents can attest to their daughters' propensity for overreacting to everyday events. In a situation that can provoke a dramatic response from almost anyone, however, special care is required to assist young women through major life changes. For many modern families, that could include divorce and the negotiation of a child custody agreement. Experts offer a variety of solutions for helping your teen daughter through this difficult transition.

For many girls, divorce signifies the end of childhood. Adolescents tend to be especially affected by changes to routine, so they are likely to seek control through obvert and often bizarre methods. This is most likely to occur within the confines of a custody agreement, which requires teens to spend a certain amount of time with each parent. Your daughter could balk at the requirements because of the impact the changes could have on her social life. Friends, academics and extracurricular activities are understandably critical for your child's well-being.

With that in mind, remember to be flexible during your custody negotiations. If you are not willing to accommodate your daughter's social needs, she is more likely to end up feeling resentful and even hateful toward you. Your rigidity, even if it is not designed to punish your child, could backfire with massive consequences.

In addition, it is important to note that girls often react to their parents' divorce far after the actual event has happened. While boys tend to act out at the time of the split, girls tend to demonstrate more responsibility and poise. Even if your daughter appears to be adjusting well, consider the fact that she could simply be trying to demonstrate her "perfection" to you, following society's mandates for young women. Inside, she could be emotionally devastated.

If your family is planning to go through a divorce, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney and legal team. These support professionals can help ease the inevitable custody transitions that accompany divorce.

Source:, "Four ways to help your teenage daughter cope with divorce" Terry Gaspard, May. 09, 2013

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