How to Minimize the Effects of Divorce on Children
Whether we like it or not, divorce is a part of our lives. Many people are getting separated and the numbers increase every year. Usually, divorce should be a somewhat painless procedure. However, it becomes extremely hard when there are children involved. How will they be able to handle it, especially at a very young age? That being said, parents must take on a more difficult and demanding role to minimize the impact of the divorce on their children.
Firstly, the meaning of the divorce and what comes after should be explained in depth to the child by both parents. Children need to be aware that none of their parents are ‘leaving’ or ‘abandoning’ them. They need to feel confident that there will be only a small number of changes in their lives. It is wise for parents to explain and assure their children that nothing will change, and everything will ultimately be fine.
After they split up, parents must also make sure that their child will spend equal time with both of them. None gets to neglect their responsibilities because of their own problems. By doing this, children will feel that they still live in a safe environment. They don’t experience a major change other than their parents not sharing the same roof anymore.
Furthermore, a significant part of the separation is the emotional state of the parents and how much they show it in front of the child. This being the case, parents should avoid expressing negative emotions around their children at all times. If not, they will worry and burden them with unnecessary stress and anxiety. Children are often affected by how their parents feel and could blame themselves at some point for what happened. Because of that, parents must reassure their children that they are not to blame for anything.
In certain circumstances, there might be more than one child in the family, thus priorities must be balanced between the two. Usually, the older child takes on a more proactive and serious role towards the younger child. That is because the situation forces them to be more mature for the well-being of their siblings. That means that the older child will try and protect his sibling but quite endure much more then he usually should or take on in the first place. Taking take of an adolescent shouldn’t be the role of his siblings, it should always be the role of the parents. Often, after separation, parents tend to go out more often than before. That causes them to sometimes abandon their responsibility to take care of their children; hence the older sibling has to take on that role.
Additionally, children believe that their parents have superpowers. They believe that parents are capable of solving any problems they have with each other at all times. Divorce shatters that belief and causes the child to become insecure about their own family and future. A common effect of divorce is the undermining of future relationships and how children, as adults, perceive them.
Moreover, it is common for children who experience divorce to suffer on their education. That is because some of them might exhibit aggressive behavior and other unusual behavioral problems. Their grades will decrease and the concept of ‘Education’ will no longer interest them. In their minds they have bigger problems to deal with.
But, not all effects are negative. Children can mature and adopt critical thinking from this experience. By experiencing divorce first-hand, they will be able to analyze the impact it has on the family. They could try to avoid it in their own lives, with their own spouses. Also, divorce will make them realize how fragile human relationships are. Despite the negatives of the divorce, it can actually have some real benefits for the children.
For all children, their parents’ divorce absolutely changes their lives. It changes the way they perceive the world forever. However, it is uncertain that every child will endure the same problems. Some children might not show any of the before-mentioned points and they will have a perfectly normal life. What parents should take into consideration before they decide to divorce is the scope of risks that it will have on their children.