Divorces come in all shapes in sizes, affecting each family differently. While it is common for parents to be caught up in the whirlwind of attorneys, selling the house, child support, and all of the other aspects of divorce, it is important for parents to be aware of the ways in which children are affected by divorce. Divorce is usually a rattling experience in the life of a child, and it is the parents’ responsibilities to both be aware of how their children are affected, and look for ways to help them adjust. Research comparing children of divorce to children who have not experienced divorce shows that children are indeed psychologically affected both short-term and long-term by the separation of their parents.
No matter the age of the child, divorce is difficult. According to research, there is no significant correlation between age and adjustment to divorce. Various studies show children to have more difficulties with long-term adjustment when experiencing divorce at a younger age. However, several studies show the opposite effect. Research is inconsistent on how age affects child adjustment. Therefore, parents should be aware that divorce will affect each child differently, regardless of the age. Adjustment is based on several other factors, including the individual personality of the child, the relationship of the parents with the child, and the emotional maturity of the child.
Other relationships may suffer. Child psychologists have discovered that divorce can have a direct effect on how children treat other relationships in their lives. It is not uncommon for children to begin to neglect relationships with their friends or become less sociable during and after the divorce. Kids may start to ignore friends, and show less of an interest in participating in social events. Additionally, children who lack the ability to sort through their feelings may begin to release pent up emotional aggression on other children at school. Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of the ways divorce can affect a child’s social life, and to encourage and promote positive relationships in their child’s life.
Stability as a parent is a MUST. While many children view their parents as their number one source of stability in life, it is common for children to fear a change in the parent-child relationship. Kids may fear they are being abandoned, or that one or both parents will now become less accessible after the split. It is your responsibility as a parent to remain as consistent with your child as possible, and assure them that they are loved and cared for just as much after the divorce as before.
The many factors that influence child adjustment during and after divorce are infinite in number. However, several resources are available for parents who desire to minimize any short or long-term negative effects of divorce, such as P.A.C.T. and co-parenting classes, and counseling. For more information on P.A.C.T. classes in Winnebago County, see the blog entitled “Co-parenting classes: their importance in divorces with children.”
If you are considering divorce, please feel free to contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.