As an adult, divorce can come as a great relief. It gives you the chance to reset your life and build a more positive future. As a child whose parents are about to split, divorce can seem less positive.
How does divorce affect children?
Divorce can take a considerable psychological toll on children. These are some of the reasons that they may struggle when your marriage ends:
- Lack of coping strategies: Divorce is a new situation for most children. They may not have the skills or maturity to process their emotions.
- Feeling pulled both ways: If your kids overhear you talking about your unhappy marriage, it can lead to confusion. In their world, you and the other parent are both good. Now that notion is being challenged.
- Disruption: Routines and boundaries help children to understand their place in the world. Divorce can disrupt these.
- Losing their support group: Moving a street away can make a difference in how often you see your friends. Changing schools or area will have an even greater effect. Divorce can take a child away from the people they trust to tell their feelings when they need them most.
- Reduced parenting time: The economic effect of divorce often means that parents end up working more, leaving them less time to spend with their children.
- Guilt: As hard as it may be to comprehend, children often feel that your divorce is somehow down to something they did or said.
A well thought out parenting plan can help reduce the harmful impact divorce has on your children. By looking at all aspects of your child’s future, you can spot potential problems and find ways to help your child through this challenging time.