Effects Of Divorce On Children -- And What You Can Do About It


  • Author Ruth Purple
  • Published January 15, 2009
  • Word count 527

An increasing number of marriages ended up in divorce over the past few years. A couple’s inability to communicate which leads to relationship breakdown most often causes divorce. Having a lasting relationship or avoiding separation is never easy, but once the decision to separate is agreed upon by both parties, there isn’t much that can be done except to try and solve everything in the most amicable way. Marriage breakdown is always traumatic, especially for the kids. Learning that the family will be ripped apart and that everything is about to radically change is always hard news for kids to take.

There are some who can go through it and have no issues, but for a lot there will surely be serious side effects. Most children often believe that it’s their fault and they are the reason why mom and dad are breaking up. It is very important for parents to sit down and talk to their kids. Sure, you are going through a terrible time, but what about the kids? Take time to step away from your own sadness, anger or hurt and explain to them what’s going on, why this is happening and that there’s no one to blame.

Allow them to voice out their feelings so that you can have a true understanding of what they are going through at the time. This way, it won’t be a traumatic experience and they won’t have to feel guilty. Divorce is indeed a source of stress for children, and can cause a decline of well-being. One of the biggest fears of children is change. Adapting to new schedules, home works, mealtimes and bedtime routines will only remind them that the family that they have always known will never be the same again. When a parent moves out of the house, the change in how much contact occurs can make the child feel that he has lost that person.

It will surely create distress, especially if they are very attached to each other. Also, they may fear that if they have lost one, they may lose the other too. This loss of attachment may make them blame themselves, feel unsafe and unloved. Disagreements, arguments and tension between parents may make the child feel guilty, angry and alone. Placing the children in the middle of an adult struggle by asking them to take sides or turn them against the other parent often creates confusion. Although parents want to protect their children from the stress and anguish of the situation, avoiding the issue is not the way to go.

Helping them cope is important—it is often hard to pick the right words in discussing the issue with them. Whatever the reasons for the split-up, children need to be aware that although Mom and Dad can no longer live together happily, Mom is still their mother and Dad will always be their father. It takes time to go through a transition, especially divorce. Some children will breeze through, while others will show negative effects. However, those who cope best are those that continue to have a stable, loving relationship with both parents.

The author of this article Ruth Purple is a Relationships Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Ruth recently decided to go public and share her knowledge and experience through her website http://www.relazine.com. You can sign up for her free newsletter and join her coaching program.

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