Every year, thousands of children go through the stress that comes along with a divorce. There are numerous effects of divorce on children. The way they will react to their parents’ getting a divorce depends on their age, personality and the particular circumstances of the separation and the divorce process. Every divorce has its effects on the children involved. But it is important that both parents make an effort to help their child through this trying time.
How divorce affects children who are involved?
Often the initial reaction of children to a divorce is that of shock, sadness, frustration, anger, or worry. Many kids come out more flexible, tolerant and better able to cope with stress later on in life. They need time to mourn the loss of their family and accept that the divorce is not their fault. It is important for parents to help their children come to terms with it. In their struggle to make sense of their feelings, children suffer from themes of low self-esteem and rejection. At this difficult time, parents should try to make the process of separation and divorce as smooth for the kids as possible and not vent their own frustration out on them.
The most important things that both the parents can do to help their kids in their struggle through the process of divorce are:
- Keep the kids as far as possible from heated discussions and legal work;
- Make sure that there is little disruption in the kids’ daily routine;
- Keep the negativity out of the kids’ daily life. If you really need to vent it out, arrange therapy sessions for yourself or talk to friends outside the house;
- Both the parents should remain involved in the child’s life.
Breaking the news
Parents may find it difficult to talk to their children about their impending divorce. That is why most parents avoid or delay breaking the news to their kids. This is not a wise move. Talk to your kid on every step during the process of divorce. Explain to them what is going on and what it is all about. Talk to them from the start of the process of divorce so that there are no misunderstandings and uncertainties between you and your child.
Encourage them to talk
Encourage your kids to talk and ask questions about divorce. Make sure that you listen to them when they express their concerns about the situation. Pay close attention to what they are saying. When you are having these kinds of discussions, ensure that your body language communicates the same thing that your verbal language does. Your child is feeling as alone as you are during this difficult time. He or she wants to know if you really understand the feelings they are experiencing right now.
Emphasize on parents’ love and care
During the process of divorce it is important that you make your kid understand that they are not the reason for the divorce and neither are they the cause of the problems you are facing as a couple. They also need to know that both their parents still love them. Help them understand that even though mom and dad are going to live separately from now on, they are always going to be there for them. Explain to them that even if the marriage ends, they will still have their parents’ love, care and support.