If a divorce is handled poorly, it can have negative effects on a child. The level of conflict between the parents may determine how long the negative effects will last and how deep the emotional trauma will go. If you and your spouse are planning to separate, you’re most likely worrying how your split will impact your kids.
Divorce may be the best option for your family, but you’re bound to worry about your kids. The emotional impact on the child will depend on the parents’ commitment to putting their children first. Studies have shown that divorce can impact children more than parents may realize. You’ll want to consider the following tips to help reduce the negative effects on your children after divorce.
Tell them together
If possible, you should tell your kids about the divorce together. Explain this decision to them clearly and without blaming the other parent. You’ll want to emphasize that it is in no way their fault that you are splitting up. Children may begin to feel guilty if they are old enough to understand, so assure them this is not the case.
Children shouldn’t witness arguments
When your marriage is ending, it can be difficult to keep emotions inside. In the heat of the moment, you may express your unresolved relationship problems. While talking about this in private is fine, avoid doing this in front of your children. Children can experience anxiety, fear and depression if they witness fights between you and your ex.
Don’t tell your kids the cost of divorce
Your kids don’t need to know much it costs to get a divorce. If the number is very high, you risk losing your child’s respect for not resolving your dispute without jeopardizing your family’s future – typically applies to older kids who understand what is going on. Kids don’t need to know all the details of how their parents’ relationship ended. While there are things you should leave out of the discussion, children should feel they can ask questions. Be honest with your kids and keep in mind their age and level of understanding.
One of the best ways to minimize the impact of your divorce on your children is to make sure that they have someone to talk to. This may include talking with a counselor or therapist. They probably won’t tell you when they need professional help, so you’ll want to be aware of behavioral changes.