Are you worried about how your children will react to the divorce? Deciding to stay together “for the kids” can become toxic, but here are some ways to better prepare your children for the divorce and help combat the psychological toll it can have on them.
Of course, children react different based on their unique home situation, but age can also play a factor. Younger children might think the divorce was caused by them, while older children might be more prone to think it was a parent’s fault. Either way, this creates a stressful environment for the child.
As stated before, stress can impact the child, but what are these stressors? Aside from worrying about changing schools, possibly moving, and figuring out a new schedule, kids can also take on the burden of parental relationships. Primarily living in one household usually means less communication with the other parent. This can cause a feeling of loss of a loved one because the child no longer gets to see them as often. On the opposite side, the primary parent now carries the stress of single parenting which can reflect the felt stress onto the child.
Now that possible stressors have been laid out, it is important to know what these can lead to. Here are some examples of what can happen:
Behavior – A child may start acting out in class. Impulsive actions may take at home or at school. It is important to notice any changes in your child’s behavior.
Mental Stability- Depression and anxiety are some of the most reported mental difficulties for children dealing with divorce. Although this can be remedied with therapy, it is important to be there for your child through these trying times.
Academics – Academic performance can decrease due to the stress of divorce. This can also be caused by a lack of attention from the parent with school work since they have so much more to focus on with being a single parent.
After looking at stress and risks, it is important to look into ways to help the children go through all these events and emotions they are feeling. Here are some ways to combat the risks:
Remain Friendly – Maintaining a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse eases tension on a child in many ways. Remaining friendly allows a child to not be put in the middle. This also allows for better co-parenting.
Discipline – By practicing the same discipline as your ex-partner, this allows for a child to know their boundaries and the consequences that follow negative actions. Consistency is key.
Therapy – Keeping a close eye on your kid? If it looks like they need help and your running thin on what you can do, therapy could be the next step. A licensed professional can help a kid understand their emotions and how to deal with them.
Educate – Dying to know more about what you can do? Educate yourself. Read online and in print all the possible ways to help your children get through these trying times.
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