Friday, January 24, 2020

Reducing The Impact Of Divorce On Your Kids.

June 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

( No one likes to admit that the fairytale is over, especially when there are children involved. But the sad truth is, sometimes in life people outgrow one another. It can take a long time to get to the point where you are both willing to accept that divorce is the best route, and of course this is a lot more complicated when it means breaking up a family as well as a marriage. Even when you know it’s the only outcome which will eventually allow everyone to be truly happy, no parent looks forward to putting their kids through what can be the defining traumatic event in their lives. 

How Will Divorce Affect My Children? 

The effects of parents divorcing on children can be severe, and echo far into their adult lives. Studies have looked at the correlation between parental divorce and factors like a higher risk of being overweight, or of forming negative relationships of their own in the future. If you have two parents barely on speaking terms, it can even compromise your immune system. The complex ways in which our mental and physical wellbeing is linked mean that the effects can be huge and complex, so it’s very natural to worry about the implications of your decision on the family situation and the lives of your children. Many report feeling an overwhelming sense of loss, somewhat like grieving a death, huge amounts of panic about a future which is suddenly uncertain or even feelings of guilt, as some children may mistakenly blame themselves and think they are the reason their parents are choosing to separate. As scary as all that sounds, sometimes divorce really is the only choice. You may have attended marriage counselling and explored all the other options, and still come to the conclusion that it has to happen. If that is the case, how can you hope to manage the impact on your children? How can you ever prepare them for what is to come? 

Resolve To Put Your Children First 

It’s fairly common for there to be extremely high emotions on both sides when a divorce is imminent. You or your spouse may be feeling a huge range of things, from anger, to guilt and sorrow. Often we don’t know how to process these emotions ourselves and we allow ourself to behave in a way we know isn’t respectful, towards our former partner or ourselves. This can be especially difficult if factors like infidelity or deception are involved. However, for the sake of your children, try to set some behavioural ground rules for yourself. Agree that you will put your hurt feelings to one side and prioritise getting your children through the worst of the impact first. Simple things like not arguing in front of the kids, and agreeing not to badmouth each other or restrict access, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation, is incredibly important. How affected your children are by your divorce depends on the bitterness they see you and your spouse act with, the conflict they are exposed to and how uncertain they feel about what is going to happen. 

Give Some Answers 

Explain the situation as calmly as possible, trying to keep extreme negative emotion to one side. Reassure them as much as possible–it’s okay to admit that you don’t have all the answers right now, say about your living situation, but reassure your kids that you are both always there for them, and that no matter what happens, their parents love them. Steer clear of giving too much detail about the situation as this can create an unnecessary burden on the child. 

Get Professional Support 

It’s vital to get outside help that can help you through negotiations and work out the practicalities as quickly as possible – uncertainty is not good for kids or parents. If there are complex issues which involve dividing a lot of assets a specialist attorney such as Debra Schoenberg can help. Schoenberg Family Law Reviews show that you can make a success out of a bad situation if you have the correct legal support in place. 

Be Honest – But Don’t Overshare

Acknowledge that you are upset and hurting, but also tell them that you will feel better eventually – even if you don’t know how long that will take. You don’t want young children to feel emotionally responsible for you, but equally it’s not healthy to pretend everything is business as usual either. Give as much information as you can on the practical aspects – where the children are likely to live, how often they will see the other parent etc. Kids thrive on certainty and routine, so try to give them back as much of this as possible. 

Staff Writer; William Carter


One Response to “Reducing The Impact Of Divorce On Your Kids.”
  1. Trevo Craw says:


    I do not think the impact should be reduced at all. The entire family should win or lose, overcome or fall. That would cause the mom and dad to think twice, resolve their issues and maybe save the family in tact. I say spare no one. If you don’t want casualties of war, think before you have a child with your partner. Then think again before you do something stupid and break up the family. Enough with single parent households in our community. God did not say spare the kids. If you want to spare them, men and women get your act together

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!