The Impact of Divorce on Children
Children are the true innocent victims in a divorce. They tend to suffer most from the shock of suddenly losing the security of the intact family unit. After all, that has been the foundation of their emotional security and sense that all is well. Bryan divorce attorneys can help you come up with ways to help your children adjust to the new situation.
Basic Differences in Reactions Based upon Age
The response that you can expect children to have to a divorce depends partially on whether they are school age or adolescents. Children, especially younger ones, are very dependent upon their parents and therefore they will likely revert to more immature behaviors, such as bedwetting, tantrums, and sleeping for long periods of time. As they grow older and begin school they tend toward more self-sufficiency. An older child may react by not eating, rebelling against discipline, or showing signs of depression.
An adolescent child has generally grown much more independent, and thus will tend to gravitate toward friends and away from the family unit. They are likely to feel betrayed and can exhibit significant rebellious behavior. They will be more apt to lose trust in the parents and look for comfort and love elsewhere.
Ways to Help Your Children to Deal with the Divorce
You may feel significantly hurt, yourself, as a result of the divorce, but you must put your own needs second to those of the children. It is important from the outset that you let them know they are not the reason for the divorce, as too often, children feel guilt and believe they are to blame. The following are some other ways to help your children cope with the divorce:
- Don't put the children in the middle by confiding too much information to them or trying to use them as pawns to get back at the other parent.
- Be careful of venting. It can be healthy to be honest about the pain you feel, but be careful not to vent too much and thereby burden the children with your feelings.
- Avoid any statements that show bitterness toward the other parent. The children likely want to have a relationship with both of you, and to speak ill of the other cannot be beneficial.
- Create new traditions in the home. If you always did certain things at Christmas and other holidays, break from the old traditions and develop new ones. Clinging to the old can confuse the children and falsely feed their hope that the marriage can be restored.
- Develop a parenting plan. Having consistency between you and your former spouse is very important. Set up a clear schedule for visitations, agree upon rules in the homes, and determine who is responsible for such matters as parent-teacher conferences, medical treatment, etc. Make sure that the children are clear on which parent is responsible for each of these things.
Take Care Not to Cause Further Hurt to the Children
No parents want to see their children suffer. Divorce is likely to have a severe impact on children emotionally. Bryan divorce lawyers can discuss with you techniques you can use to help your children cope. Call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.