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Challenges children face when their parents get divorced

by Dr Prem Community Writer
Parents Get Divorced

Statistics show that 50% of marriages in America end up in divorce. Out of that 50%, almost 60% of these marriages involve children. Divorce affects all those involved, but children are often the ones who suffer the most. Let us look at the challenges children face when their parents get divorced

Loyalty Conflict after parents are divorced

Parents Get DivorcedThis is usually more of a problem when there is a high degree of parental conflict. It is worse when the parents fight in front of the kids and when they speak badly about the other parent.

Many children feel like they need to choose sides, don’t know which one to pick, and don’t want to have to make a choice. It is up to the parents to behave like adults and realize that their bickering is causing harm to their children.

If a child is very well-adjusted and independent, they might yell back and say “leave me out of this”. This is actually a healthy reaction and one where the child is acting more like the adult and the adults are acting more like children.

One Parent Remarries

One Parent RemarriesLife is not always as it appears on TV. Shows like the Brady Bunch aren’t often replicated in real life. It is not common, although it would be nice if it were, where two single parents marry and bring their own children into one happy family unit.

Is it better for the family unit if the stepmother or stepfather adopts the children? It totally depends upon each family. If mom remarries and dad is still in the picture, do the children want to have their parents telling them what to do? Will the stepfather have any authority over the children and should he?

These are not easy questions to answer because there is no right answer. It always depends upon the family members involved, the specifics in each situation, and the laws in each state.

According to stepchild adoption attorneys in Raleigh, “Stepchild adoptions are becoming more common nowadays given the changes in family dynamics. Parents often remarry after a divorce, and the new stepparent is able to develop a strong bond with a stepchild”.

Everyone’s situation is different; and, this affects every family member including the spouse, the stepchild, the child’s other parent, and other children. If adoption is an option considered, everyone involved needs to be emotionally ready and willing to try to make it work.

Behavioral Issues

angry childIt is not uncommon for children of divorce to act out and misbehave. It is very difficult for children to understand what is going on and why. While some blame themselves. Some get angry at their parents; and some get frustrated because they can’t fix it.

Their frustration and stress manifests itself in different ways ranging from mildly acting out to more serious destructive behaviors. It is the parents, the adults in the situation, who need to step up to the plate.

They need to be patient and understanding. It is also important for parents to monitor their children’s behavior and seek professional help if the issues become serious.

Anxiety

Anxiety in child

Many children will feel anxious, tense, and nervous after their parents get divorced. The younger ones are more prone to these feelings; because they are  dependent on both parents at all times to care for their needs.

This anxiety may lead to having trouble concentrating, doing poorly in school; or loss of interest in what used to be enjoyable activities.

Emotional Pain

Emotional PainDivorce affects every member of the family in different ways. Because they are unable to understand why their parents are getting divorced; young children will feel the pain of loss when one parent is no longer living in the same house.

The good news is that over time, this pain can go away. With a lot of communication, love, and understanding, parents can help their children adjust to a new type of family unit.

Problems arise and fester when feelings can’t be shared and discussed openly. It can also happen when the parents themselves are harboring resentment and anger. Children will pick up on these emotions; and, the family unit will be harmed.

Divorce is a disruptive life event for everyone in the family. Unfortunately it is something that too many families have to go through. It is really up to the parents to take the lead on getting the family through it with minimal long-lasting effects on their children.

The important things to remember that will help children adjust to their new family dynamic are:

  • Keeping communication channels open
  • Being patient and understanding
  • Accepting that some children will act out and that some will get anxious or depressed
  • Making sure to keep an eye for potentially destructive behaviors

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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