Divorce In The Family And Its Effect On Children
No couple goes into marriage expecting that they will end up divorcing. Despite it being very common nowadays, divorce has and is an emotional process for the whole family but mostly to the children and this is because they lack the mental capacity to steer the complexity of the situation and reach out for help when its needed which leaves them vulnerable to getting into negative behaviors.
Divorce will have a more negative effect on the older children since they will see the loss of a family support. Also the custodial parent, gender of the child, the financial status they were in before the divorce and the child’s personality will influence the negative behaviors of the child after divorce. Despite all this, professionals and parents need to understand how to support the children and also how to interact with them so that they can ensure the children feel comfortable and less stressed.
No time with both parents
Children depend on the nurturing and support of the parents and when their parents divorce, this attachments will get interrupted. The parents will separate which means there will be two households. This also means that the child wont be able to spend as much time with both parents as it should be. This disruption is what will lead to increased stress in the child plus the disruption of parental relationships will lead to the child being afraid of abandonment since one of the parent is always absent or has limited time for visitations.
not only does the parent experience a difference in financial stability when providing for the children, but also the child experiences these too. For example children who leave in the lower class homes will have very little or no education opportunities and thus likely to suffer from anxiety and stress. Certain activities that were affordable will become expensive and the family will not go out and have fun as they used to. They will also have to change shops, schools, camps etc to go to a more affordable place.
The stress that comes with the economic stability plus no time with every parent will eventually manifest itself in terms of emotions, behaviors, academic achievements, self esteem and social relations. These children become very angry, start getting lower grades in school, have so much guilt in them thinking that they are the cause and so much more. The child’s life now starts to change in both school and home.
The effect of divorce in the family on children however may defer especially in situations where the children have an abusive parent. In this types of cases, having that parent removed from them may be very important since it will help the child heal from any hurt and even thrive in a positive environment despite there being only one parent.
So what should divorced parents do? if there is still conflict between both parents even after divorce, the child is more likely to show signs of negative behaviors and very poor adjustment to the situation than a divorce whereby the parents still continue to cooperate and also maintain a positive relationship.
Research has shown that having one of the parents talking positively to the other parent will balance out the negativity that the child hears from one parent which will therefore reduce the sense of conflict. Since divorce is known to be a very confusing situation for children, it is important to explain the happenings and also be ready to answer any questions that the children might have.
The age of the child will also influence how to explain the situation appropriately. A young child wont be able to fully understand the situation and they will need simplistic explanations and also reassurance that the changes will not influence their relationship with the parents.
Therefore parents should be ready to offer support, care and love for the children during and even after divorce. After the divorce in the family, parenting practices may change or get disrupted but this will depend on one parent’s parenting style and whether it was enforced before the divorce. The consistent parenting following a divorce will be important since it will maintain a stable environment for the children and help them adjust quickly to the divorce.
Also parents should be aware that children take time to adjust to new situations whether it is a new schools, new home or a new sibling. If a child displays negative behaviors after the divorce, it doesn’t mean that it will be permanent, with time, children adapt and become comfortable in the new surrounding which now means that that the negative behaviors will be short term.
Whenever it is possible, parents should not rely only on outside help to ensure that they can provide for the child for these solutions. Example, there are different legal interventions which include divorce education classes, parenting coordination, mediation etc which are aimed at lowering the high conflict levels between both parents during the divorce. These divorce programs help parents know about the effects that divorce has on their children and how to focus on the child’s needs during the process.
They also teach parents how to have a close relationship with their children and how to go about positive parenting and discipline. Though children need plenty of support during the divorce, parents should also not neglect their own needs. If a parent finds themselves experiencing negative effects, they won`t be able to take care of the children which in turn will increase the negative effects on the child. If this happens, it will be important for the parent to look for outside support to help them treat the anxiety, stress and depression or just any negative feelings they seem to experience.
In conclusion, divorce in the family is a very hard time for the everyone and despite all the difficulties that may arise, both parents and their children can heal from it with proper precautions and support. Parents should also take care of their own emotional health and seek for outside support or treatment if necessary.
Additionally, parents should learn how to remain in low conflict with each other and avoid talking negatively about each other to the child and making the child choose sides. By taking these steps seriously, parents can be certain that their children will be fine even after the divorce and the stress, anxiety and negative behaviors will be a thing of the past.