The tween years are difficult on kids, and the parents often feel the strain too. At this age, the children need the adults in their life but they will push back against them. They still need the structure but they are ready to start venturing out on their own too. While all of this is normal, it can lead to serious problems if they have a major life shakeup, such as their parents divorcing.
The independence that they feel and the changes that are happening can make them moody, which can exacerbate the turbulence in the home. They may realize that they are causing stress, but they don’t know how to deal with it. When you tell them that you’re divorcing, they may automatically assume that they were a contributing factor, but you must ensure that they know this isn’t the case.
When you add their parents divorcing into the already challenging time the child is facing, they can become overwhelmed. Kids at this age aren’t likely to open up to you about how the divorce is impacting them. You can alert some trusted adults to what’s going on with the divorce so they can help your tween work through their feelings if they have the opportunity.
One special consideration when you have a tween is setting up the parenting plan in a way that enables them to spend time with both parents while still participating in their social activities. Expecting a tween to suddenly change how they’re spending time with their friends or thinking that they will be willing to forego time with friends to spend time with family members will likely lead to a stressful situation.