The parent-child bond is the strongest and foremost feeling for children of growing ages. They look up to their parents for everything. Parents are their heroes, their role models. Divorce is a social dilemma and the most difficult time for each family member. It strongly impacts children of all ages, sometimes in ways you wouldn’t quite imagine. Every child confronts the situation differently. Few will take it positively and moves on with the circumstances. Others may fail to comprehend the situation and deny this transition in their life. Professional counseling near Bethlehem has engaged in helping children of divorced parents cope with this transitional phase of their lives.
Effects of divorce on children’s behavior
Regardless of sex, age, or culture, children of divorced parents experience phycological and behavioral problems. Different characteristics can be observed in such children.
- Feel angry. When divorce happens, children develop anger, and it makes them sensitive toward every situation. Their whole world is destroyed without their consent. Emotional disbalance develops anxiety and anger in such children.
- Grades may affect. One of the outcomes of divorce is the lack of interest of a child in almost everything. The flooded thoughts of the new life and aggression to find the answer drags them away from their social responsibilities. They fail to pay attention in class, and their grades drop drastically.
- Behavioral Problems: Children of divorced parents may more likely develop externalizing problems, such as aggression, delinquency, and impulsive behavior. They may involve themselves in sexual activities, particularly in adolescent age. Drug addiction and excessive use of alcohol at this age are other common traits of a disturbed teen.
- Loss of interest in social activities: The sudden change in their life will drag them away from their family, friends, and all other social activities. The fear of confronting the odd question about their parents and the divorce will keep them away from the social circle. Slowly and gradually, the sense of loneliness and sadness will take over them and confine them in their little shell.
- Developed hatred for marriage: Going through the stressful divorce process may develop hatred for the marriage in the long run. They see marriage as an unreliable social act that eventually puts the children in a devastated state.
- Lose trust in parents: Due to the traumatic experience, there are chances that they will stop trusting their parents and get involved in harmful activities.
- They may pick sides: There are chances that, in the long run, they may pick sides depending on their comprehension of the situation. This way, they may lose the love of one of their parents.
- Develop depression: The children of divorced parents are at high risk of going into depression. They feel neglected, selfless, and sad all along. Suicidal thoughts can also be developed in the worst scenario.
Helping Children of Divorced Parents:
How parents support their children deal with the divorce will help them reform their concepts of the world and relationships with other people. Children at different development levels will have a different understanding of divorce. Parents of divorce children, therefore, should tailor their communication according to their age and level.
- Talk to them: Breaking news about the divorce may be the tensest conversation between the parent and a child. However, constructive talk between the divorced parents and a child may positively impact the child’s psychology. It will help them understand the bitter reality less disturbingly. The trickiest question is, “How to talk to children about divorce?” Take them out on a long dive or a peaceful place and communicate with them about the changes occurring in your life. Reinforce that you love them a lot and they are always the priority, again and again, so that they still feel privileged and loved. Face their reaction and help them find the right words to express their inner anxiety about the situation. Listen to them patiently and carefully. Your attention and love help them calm down and face reality in a much different and positive way. With a supportive talk, they develop resilience to this life event and can grow well mentally and emotionally.
- Assure them they are safe. The changes that divorce brings to the children’s life will make them insecure and depressed, and they fear they will be able to enjoy a free and secure life in new circumstances.
- Co-parenting: What is best for the children of divorced parents should always be the first and foremost concern. Resolve conflict with your ex for the sake of your children’s future. Talk to each other and define set rules and guidelines for your parenting. Having different styles and enforcing two different ideologies may confuse and stress the child. Focusing on one point will minimize friction and confusion among children internally and help you as a parent to remain authoritative.
Get professional help
Divorce is a complicated process. Divorce proceedings can be tense, stressful, and emotional for everyone in the family. It is obvious not to feel okay. Reducing your stress as a parent is essential to the child’s well-being, and it allows more space for your youngster to share their thoughts with you. Talking to your friends, family members, or anyone will help you mellow down and help you focus more on this transition.
Seeking professional help for yourself and your youngster is a great idea. Individual and family therapies provide the best option to address this stressful situation. Individual therapy identifies the child’s behavior, resolves their problem, and provides emotional support.
Family therapy is an effective tool in supporting and treating children of divorced parents. Family therapy aims to look outside an individual concern and have a holistic approach when treating a problem of children of divorced parents. It focuses on the teenager’s interests and is not intended to be couples counseling. The goal of family therapy is to build a cooperative co-parenting environment. Identifying the issues and administering them, keeping in view the betterment of the kid’s mental health.
In a nutshell, divorce is a difficult process. Stepping out of the marriage in a peaceful and accommodating way while keeping your children’s well-being and mental health as a priority may ease this transition for each family member.