After The Storm: The Effect of Divorce on Children
Recently, we posted information here on our blog about preparing your children for your divorce. Proper preparation for your kids can make a world of difference in how your family carries on following the dissolution of your marriage to their other parent; however, it’s not a complete solution. Divorce can, and does, have an effect on your children, and you need to be prepared for these in the months and years following your separation from your spouse. Failing to recognize some of the telltale signs that your child is struggling could cause long-lasting issues for them, and for you.
Children whose parents have gone through a divorce have a wide range of feelings and emotions about the separation. For some, divorce can actually be a relief in some sense, if their parents were often volatile or violent with one another, and their marriage added stress to the children and their daily lives. However, in the majority of cases, children tend to…
- struggle with change. Even small changes, that wouldn’t have caused issues before, such as having a different person pick them up from school, getting a new sitter, or even something as small as a shift in their routine can cause dramatic meltdowns with some kids. While younger children will tend to meltdown outwardly, older children tend to hold their emotions inside, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling with changes in their lives. Keep an open line of communication with your kids, and be in tune with their behavior. Doing so means you will be on top of any noticeable changes and you can help them process their feelings.
- have increased fear of loss. Suddenly, you might notice your child (especially if they are younger) is much more clingy than they were previously. They may be much more anxious, and could bring up subjects like losing you, losing a sibling, or even losing a much-loved toy or stuffed animal. Any type of loss could bring about an irrational response since they are already sensitive to the subject, so be aware and try to continually reassure your children that they are loved, taken care of, and so forth. Reassurance can help alleviate some of the anxiety brought on by fear of loss.
- have anxiety about conflict. Following a divorce, you might notice that your child avoids conflict, and any sort of altercation can lead to an emotional breakdown. Some children tend to falsely deduce that if you and their other parent argued, and that led to one of you leaving, then the same could happen to them. Again, reassurance can be a huge help in ridding your child of these fears.
Truthfully, the best way to help your children following a divorce is to be aware that they are going to need help adjusting, and be prepared. For some families, even bringing in an outside therapist can help with guiding children through a difficult time. Additionally, there are plenty of books, seminars, and websites on the subject, and it’s worth your time to pull from those resources to give your children the best chance at having the least amount of effect from your divorce as possible.
Another huge support during a divorce case? Having legal representation that is experienced and is ready to stand in your corner. Sessums Law Group will walk beside you each step of the way, and make sure you are taken care of in your divorce case. You don’t expect to go through this process, but when the unexpected happens, WE STAND FOR YOU!