It is easy for couples to fixate on their own personal feelings when going through a divorce. However, a divorce impacts everyone in the household. This is particularly true when looking at the effects that divorce has on children from the marriage. A recent CNN article by John Duffy looked at some of the issues children face when going through a divorce and ways to help ease with the transition.
When children go through a divorce they soon realize that their nuclear family will forever be changed. This can lead to a lot of confusion as some children feel pressure to pick a side, especially if custody is hotly contested. In fact, children can be brought into adult disputes and provided information that may not hold the other parent in the best light. Unfortunately, this can expose children to adult situations that they are not emotionally equipped to handle. Experts note that the trauma of a divorce for some children can impact other areas of their lives including grades, social connections and mental health. For this reason, it is important to limit the child’s exposure to some of the adult-based scenarios that arise during a divorce proceedings.
It is important that parents understand that children identify with both parents:
- Experts note that parents will often speak ill of the other parent in the presence of their child. This is viewed as a mistake because when children hear that mom or dad has treated the other awfully or unfairly, they identify with that awfulness. Because children identify with both parents, when they hear from a loved and trusted parent that the other parent can be awful, kids will internalize this not just as part of the offending parent, but of themselves.
Discuss aspects of your child’s life that will and will not change
- When parents begin to discuss divorce with their children, those initial talks tend to revolve around the things that will change as a result. It is important to allow the divorce to be a process for the kids. Children process these issues at different paces. Some kids will have questions immediately and others will have thoughts and questions over time.
Parents should pause to consider the divorce from the child’s perspective. Divorce can be contentious and emotionally taxing. Parents should do everything in their power to keep their kids from witnessing harsh exchanges. Ultimately, creating an environment that is the least stressful for children involves sheltering them from some of the adult discussions and scenarios that are necessary during a divorce.
The Faucette Law Firm, LLC represents clients in all family law and divorce-related matters including contested divorce, uncontested divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, modifications and legitimations. We serve Atlanta, Fulton, Clayton, Henry, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Fayette, Paulding, Carroll, Coweta and Dekalb. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.