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FEATURE ARTICLE

Tattoos, Piercings and Plastic Surgery: Children, Divorce & Custody

At the best of times, parenting a teenager is difficult.  On some days, parents feel like their teenagers’ only purpose in life is to drive them crazy.  Once children enter their teens, the social pressures are immense.  Childhood and dependency is replaced with maturity and independence.  With these changes comes self-determination which collides with parental authority.  The product of all this is disagreements and conflict between parents and their teens. 

For those parents also facing separation and divorce, their ability to manage their teenage children is further strained. Parents who separate are already struggling with poor communication, relationship breakdown and irreconcilable differences.  So attempting to agree to uniform and consistent parenting guidelines for their teenage children often proves impossible.  This then leads to a further exacerbation of the conflict between the teenager and each parent.  Some teenagers develop a pattern of playing one parent against the other.  In a quest to maintain a positive relationship with their child, separating parents may succumb to demands and cater to their children’s wishes in ways that would not have been indulged had the family remained together. 

In an earlier era, separating parents ‘spoiled’ their children with toys, electronics and other materialism. But times have changed...


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