While it’s true that sometimes divorce is the right thing for everyone involved, including the children, there are certain negative impacts children suffer as a direct result of the divorce that you need to be ready for. With careful monitoring and a pro-active stance you can help lessen the impact that divorce has on young children and help them get through this rough patch.
Children whose parents have divorced will inevitably feel fear and uncertainty about how their lives will change. Something they thought was stable and unbreakable has been disrupted. Combat these feelings of anxiety by keeping as much of the children’s routines the same as possible, introducing changes gradually. Positively reinforce that the divorce is only about the parent’s relationship with each other and that everyone still loves the children. Take time out to spend with each child individually and let them talk opening about their feelings.
Many children who are going through a divorce situation at home will suffer academically. To be pro-active with the school enlist the help of your children’s teachers and the school social worker or councilor. They will have plenty of local resources for you as well as years’ worth of advice. The school can help monitor the academic side of things and keep you informed of any problems.
In 2012 a study conducted in Amsterdam found conclusive evidence that children of divorce grew up to be emotionally distant from both parents. This subconscious emotional distance was created by child’s conflicting loyalties with both parents, regardless of who they lived with primarily. It is recommended that both parents, mother and father, spend quality time with the children in order to strengthen bonds.
Children benefit greatly from talking to their peers. Find a local support group for your child that they can attend to connect with others who are going through similar events in their lives. Your child will benefit from listening to the experiences of other kids as well as from getting the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about their own feelings. You can easily find local resources online at websites like www.211.org which is a search engine run by the United Way. You can also get a list of local resources from the school district or school counselor, local hospitals, church groups or even from the phone book.
Giving your children additional attention and support can help them overcome many of the obstacles they now face as children of divorce.