Divorce is a tough thing to go through. It’s never easy when families break apart, but in certain situations, it is inevitable. When reconciliation is an impossibility, separation is the only option. In the case of childless couples, the proceedings may be more accessible, but when kids enter the picture, the situation gets all the more difficult. When children are involved, you have to be careful with their feelings and mental health. Children are still developing mentally and emotionally, and accepting that their parents no longer love one another can be a hard pill to swallow. Divorce is often traumatizing for one member of the couple as well, but for children, who rely heavily on their parents for support, it can be all the more destructive.
So, what are the risks for children when parents get divorced? And what do you need to do to make sure you avoid them?
It’s common sense that if the parents don’t get along anymore, and fighting is a constant thing around the house, they should separate if there can be no conciliation. However, it’s also important to remember that there’s a lot of work to do in the aftermath of a divorce to ensure your children don’t exit the experience with emotional scars. Studies show that statistically speaking, children whose parents divorce are more likely to underperform academically. Falling behind at school can well be due to the stress and impact of the parents’ separation, and later, many find it unfeasible to go to college because being raised by only one parent means there won’t be enough money to pay for it. They’re also more likely to develop a substance addiction due to a lack of supervision. The figures are pretty concerning, with children with divorced parents being 25% more likely to abuse drugs by age 14 than their peers whose parents are still married.
Divorce can also affect your children’s self-esteem and cause them to have unhealthy or destructive romantic relationships in the future. These children are also more likely to get divorced themselves in the future. One or both parents finding new partners or remarrying also increases the likelihood of the children being physically or even sexually abused. If you’re a parent and are dating again, you must be very careful of who you allow in your children’s vicinity. Many predators actually hunt for single, recently divorced parents. If you’ve been through a painful separation, they can exploit your emotional vulnerability and become a considerable danger to your children.
Avoiding the unpleasantness
Some discomfort is to be expected when it comes to divorce. It’s an unpleasant situation, and try as you might, it’s impossible for it not to hurt at all. The aim shouldn’t be to force a positive mindset but to try to minimize the negatives as much as possible. One important aspect is choosing a legal team that will do its job impeccably. When you choose a Fort Worth divorce lawyer, you can make sure you’re getting help from someone who will work tirelessly for you and your children. Divorce is a trying time in your life, and it’s important to know you have the help of a professional at all times.
Ensure you stay in contact with your ex-spouse and that you are both still involved 100% in the growth and education of your children. Although you’re not married, you’re still co-parenting, and you must be actively engaged in their upbringing. Avoid any immature behavior, such as fights and arguments. Although it will take a significant deal of mental fortitude to achieve this, considering the fact that relations have soured between the two of you, you must remember it for your child’s well-being. Discuss with your ex and make sure they’re also aware of how they should act around your child. It’s also vital that you settle into a routine that works for everyone, so your kids can spend equal time with both parents.
If you have a new partner and discover they’re abusive or rejective towards your child, you need to drop the relationship. While giving up on a romantic connection can be tough, you have a responsibility as a parent first and foremost. If your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t treat your children with kindness and understanding, they have no place in your life. Their behavior can exacerbate any issues your kids may have, and if they already feel insecure about the affection of the adults in their life, receiving negative behavior can be an even harsher blow.
Discuss with your children
It can seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but many people actually forget to do this. It generally comes from a good place, as parents’ first instinct is to protect their children. However, not having an open and honest conversation with your children can do more harm than good. Take your time to sit down with your children and explain the reasons why you’ve chosen to get a divorce. Try and get them to understand that although it can be difficult in the beginning, it’ll be in everyone’s best interest in the long run. Ensure them that your separation doesn’t mean you’re not a family anymore and that you’re both readily available at all times if they need your support.
Reassure them they’re not responsible for the divorce. Children often blame themselves for what happens between their parents. This is a very painful thing to discuss, as you have to emphasize that you’re not going to change your mind. However, it is an essential step in the healing process.
Divorce is tough. And while it is challenging for adults, it can be even more difficult for children. Although you’ll have a lot on your hands, fully support your child during this challenging time. Be mature, don’t ask them to choose sides and ensure that they can see their other parents anytime they want. Lastly, allow them to be angry and cry. You need to resist the urge to defend yourself in front of them, or worse, portray yourself as the victim. They are entitled to their feelings and are an essential part of the whole process.
Article Submitted By Community Writer