When a couple decides to separate, the first thing that comes to their mind is how their separation is going to impact their kids. Sometimes they try to stay together for the sake of their children but for some couples, divorce remains the only option. In such cases, they need to understand the consequences of their divorce on their kids and the ways could be to deal with them.
Divorce is the stage where you must adjust numerous things from living arrangements to finances. So, sometimes kids are ignored in major scenarios, but the most worrying thing should be the kids and their custody. Kids suffer the most during this time and they need a lot of attention from both the parents so that the divorce does not damage them emotionally.
How Will Divorce Impact Your Child?
Thankfully, parents are a big help to the kids, and they can save them from falling apart.
The initial year is the toughest
The first couple of years after the divorce is the hardest on the kids. They go through a struggling phase after their parents separate and experience a high level of stress, anxiety, anger issues, and disbelief.
Sometimes, after the struggling phase, they start getting back to normal with the support of their parents of course. But for some kids, things never really get normal. They hold the grudge inside them which reflects in their personality during their lifetime.
Emotional impact as per the age group
Divorce is something that brings a hailstorm in the whole family but it is hardest on the kids because they fail to understand the whole thing. So, the whole time they are angry, confused, and frustrated.
This age group is the most confused one. They fail to understand the concept of two homes and why they have to visit one of the parents than live permanently with them. The little bit they understand that their parents unloved each other and fear remains in their heart that parents would stop loving them too.
Junior high school
This age group has clarity on the separation but its emotional impact can make them think that they are the reason behind the divorce of their parents. It makes them feel guilt constantly which affects their confidence.
Teenage is the age group that displays anger over the divorce and holds their parents responsible for all the conflicts. In such a situation, they react by resenting one of the parents or sometimes both. This resentment creates a gap and disconnects them from their parents for a while. The teenage is the tender time if the parents are separating so need the most attention and affection.
However, the circumstances are different for every home and every kid. Sometimes, kids get a better environment if the divorce reduces the arguments and brings peace to both homes.
Stress following divorce
Divorce is not only stressful for kids but parents as well. Both the parties have to manage numerous things after getting separated from their partners. It is the stress of parents that makes life harder for the kids. The stressed partner gets easily frustrated and they often pour their frustration on kids which depressing part for them.
After divorce, the kid has to live with one parent most of the time which makes their relationship somewhat bitter with that parent sometimes due to the stress of single parenting.
It also affects their relationship with the other parent, which is the father in most cases and their bond becomes weaker with them.
Most of the time, divorce is not the problem but the side stressors that accompany it is the most complicated part. For instance, the change of school, neighborhood, weak financial situation, and living with one parent only. These things make the adjusting phase harder.
Some common issues that kids face
Kids who are ignored during the phase of their parent’s divorce can develop mental health problems. Irrespective of their age or culture, divorce has a lasting impact on the kids. Some manage it easily but some face hardships while dealing with the whole divorce thing.
Children whose parents are separated easily becomes the victim of depression and anxiety. The psychological problems are found more in kids of single parents.
Kids with separated families display behavioral problems more than the other children. Their frustration and anxiety turn into anger and reflects badly on their behavior. They get more impulsive and also tend to behave badly with their parents.
The children who go through stressful situations in the family fail to cope with their studies. The stress in the family hardly lets them pay attention to their studies which affects their academic performance.
How to help kids during the crucial phase
Parents are the first role model for their kids. And the divorce rates are higher among the people whose parents had a divorce in the past. Therefore, parents play a key role in building or demolishing the life of their children. Here are some ways parents can help their kids to adjust.
The separation is unhealthy for the kids and the parents as well in some cases. But parents can help kids manage through this phase by making them feel wanted equally. Co-parenting can reduce the stress of the kids and they can start adjusting to the changing atmosphere and circumstances.
Don’t involve them in scenario
The negative involvement is quite unhealthy for the kids. For instance, putting pressure on the children to choose the parent they want to live with can be highly stressful for them. Kids love both parents equally and they would never like to leave any of them. So, decide peacefully and avoid stressing them out.
You must try to maintain a healthy relationship with your kid. Lashing out at children because of your frustration is never a good option no matter what the age of the kid is. If the situation is tough for you, it is tougher for them.
Pay attention towards teenagers
Parents during the hard times have to monitor the teenagers, especially while going through the tough times. It saves them from falling into bad habits and also they develop fewer behavioral issues.
Sometimes, parents have to seek counseling sessions for their kids to bring them on the right track.