The change and uncertainty that divorce brings can cause strong emotional issues and damage for children. Some children can adjust easily to a divorce, but others can develop long-term problems. Fortunately, parents can impact the way their kids react to a divorce. Parents who are prepared and know what to look for will be better equipped to handle a divorce with their kids.
Kids who experience their parents divorcing are at risk for mental health issues. Some behaviors like sadness, anxiety, and anger are normal while children process what is happening at home. Professional intervention may be needed if a child or teen withdraws from friends and family, has continual problems at school, starts drinking or using drugs, demonstrates self harming behavior or more. While these problems are serious and can be long-term, they are only potential risks. Do not assume a child has or will have a severe issue, and try engaging with children about worrying behaviors before taking other action.
Sharing The Right Amount Of Details
Most young children do not handle divorce well because they are scared and do not fully comprehend the situation. Kids need enough information to understand what is happening, and how their lives will be different but do not need every detail. Young people who are kept in the dark will worry, but too much knowledge can make kids feel overwhelmed or pressured to take a side.
Someone To Watch Out For Your Child
Parents who have differing views about what is best for their children are trying to do the right thing when finalizing custody agreements and making decisions for after the divorce. However, this process can be drawn out, nasty, and cause harm to youth. Hiring a lawyer or advocate specifically to protect the interests of one’s children can be helpful to ensure the wants and needs of the kids are considered fairly.
The Bright Side
Any emotional event in an adolescent’s life can cause issues, and the way a situation is handled greatly influences the results. Parents who communicate with their kids and help support them through this difficult period may actually see positive changes as a result of divorce. Children of divorce are often resilient and strong because they have learned how to deal with changes and emotional stresses earlier than most kids.
There is no way to predict how a divorce will influence children. Parents can reduce the likelihood of negative long-term effects by being watchful and actively trying to ease the strain of divorce on children.
About the Author: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger from Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves to spend time outdoors running and hiking. She used Kitchen Simeson LLP law as a resource for this article. For more information follow Brooke on Twitter @BrookeChaplan.
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