Going through a divorce can be a very challenging period for all the members of the family. However, adults have a way of moving on, especially since they made the decision to separate. Children, on the other hand, have a harder time adjusting since their whole world is changing and they can’t do anything about it. Today we are going to discuss the effects of divorce on children and give you some family relationship advice, so that as parents, you will be able to help your children cope with those effects.
- How divorce affects children of various ages
The effects of divorce of children usually depend on the children’s age and their level of understanding of the family concepts. For example, babies don’t really understand what is happening around them. In their mind, people who are out of sight, don’t even exist. If a parent is spending too little time with a baby, the child could show signs of anxiety around that parent because the baby won’t remember the parent. In order to help a baby adjust to a divorce, both parents should try to spend as much time as possible with the baby. The same advice goes for toddlers who know that the parents are living separately but they can’t understand why. Young children and teenagers are a lot more affected by divorce because they understand the fights and the tension between their parents.
- How the effects of divorce on children are manifested
There are many ways in which a child’s life will be affected due to the parent’s divorce. A child may manifest his emotional problems by paying less interest in school or by having problems with social interactions. Teenagers will try to rebel and might turn to smoking, cutting classes and even drinking. Furthermore, the effects of divorce will last even after the parents overcome the adjustments period. It is not unlikely for people who come from divorced families to have problems committing to serious relationships. The impact that divorce has on children depends on the way that parents handle their problems.
- How to avoid and handle the effects of divorce on children
A lot of parents stay married because they don’t want their kids to suffer due to divorce. However, if the marriage is unstable and very stressful, the child will be just as affected as if the parents divorced. There are certain things that children need from their parents, regardless of their marital situation. For starters, the best family relationship advice is for both parents to try to be involved in the lives of the children. If a parent is working long hours or going on frequent business trips, the child will feel neglected, even if the parents are still married and one of them is actively involved in his/her life. Try to use all means of staying in touch with your child such as regular visits, daily phone calls, texts, e-mails, letters and so on. Another important thing that children need is for the parents to have a harmonious relationship, even if they are no longer married. Furthermore, when a certain parent is jealous of the time that the child spends with the other parent, the child feels conflicted and he/she is forced to pick sides. Furthermore, a child should never be used as a tool for parents to communicate with each other. Last but not least, parents need to stay united in order for the child to recognize them both as authority figures. Insulting, demeaning or humiliating the former partner in front of the child will create a lot of emotional conflicts for the child.
- Remember your common goals
People get divorced for various reasons. Whether the partners change or they make unforgivable mistakes, it is important for both of them to remember that their relationship is no longer just between the two of them. Both parents have a responsibility to stay united and raise their child in a warm and peaceful environment. The best thing that you can do in order to help a child cope with divorce is to have a civilized relationship with your partner. Furthermore, have opened discussions with your child, constantly reassure him/her of your love and address the changes that are happening in his/her life and see how you can make them easier.