The impact of divorce on children
Ever wonder what it feels for a child to go through a divorce? Even though his parents are the ones who are separating, it is the little one who will have to pick up the broken pieces.
What are children afraid of when their parents are breaking up?
There are many studies that show the negative impact of divorce on the little ones. Many parents regard divorce as being "their" problem. "We just don't get along anymore" or "She cheated on me".In fact, marital relationship affects children a lot and the entire family will suffer the consequences of breaking up. Here it is what children deal with in a family where parents are breaking up.
Fear of change. In a family that is falling apart, the kids know that nothing will ever be the same and that their safe environment from before is changing.The fact that mom and dad are no longer together is only a part of the issue. They could lose contact with one parent. Bedtime, meals and the after school schedule can suffer significant changes. Their whole world is turned upside down.
Fear of abandon. When their parents' relationship is constantly deteriorating and the two break up or are about to file for divorce, kids are afraid ( and with good reason) that once they lose a parent, they could lose both of them.The idea of being alone in this world is frightening for the little ones.
Losing relationship with their parents.Children who have a natural attachment towards their parents are afraid that they are going to lose the other safe connections- with their friends, brothers,neighbors, etc. Sometimes, children are simply attached to the place they grew up in and moving in to another place might cause an easily understandable negative reaction.
How they handle the tension between their parents. Although many divorces result in long years of misunderstanding between the spouses, the level of anxiety usually increases during the separation and immediately after divorce.Parents who are trying to turn their children against the other partner create an impossible situation for that child.
What can parents do to alleviate their kids' pain?
How can parents reduce as much as possible the negative effects of divorce on the little ones?
First, both of them have to get involved, assuring their kids that they still remain their parents and that they love them as much as before and that they will always be there for them, even though they got a divorce.
Divorced spouses should respect each other. Even if one of them feels that he had been wronged during the divorce and the resentments are great,he mustn't put this burden on his child's shoulders.
Also, parents should keep a healthy routine, like having the same bedtime, no matter who kids live with.Parents need to make time for their kids, to be there for them and show them support.
Many times, children are the innocent victims in the war of grown-ups.And no matter how justifiable the reason for divorce is,parents have to understand that they hold the responsibility of minimizing the impact of break-up on their children so that this major change in their life to be made as easy as possible.