Every year, thousands of American families undergo parental conflict, separation and eventual divorce. Thousands of boys and girls have to experience the terrible experience of their families splitting up in bad taste. Depending on their ages at the time and severity of conflict between their parents, some of these kids are always left with ugly permanent psychological scars for the rest of their life. This is wrong. Parents should never be as selfish as to let their kids face the pain they do. Though divorce for most is inevitable, how you handle your divorce can mean a big difference for the fiscal and emotional well-being of your kids.
How divorce affects kids
The dynamics of divorce are truly unlimited and defined. They depend on the age and personalities of kids caught up between spousal separations. However, some negative implications of divorce on adolescents and pre-adolescents include:
• Destructive manners of handling conflict
• Diminished social competence
• Reduced access to financial support
• Reduced sense of masculinity and femininity
• Aggressive tendencies to opposite sex
Though divorce can be a nasty and traumatizing experience for kids, probes into divorce effects on the well-being of children indicates that majority of affected children tend to cope up with the results of divorce within two years of the separation. However, the duration could be longer or shorter depending on the choices parents make. Though it ideally takes the effort of two parents to actively sue for their children’s happiness amidst their high-conflicts, solo input of one of the children can drastically prove beneficial for the children. You could start by doing all you can to keep the hostility you feel for your spouse concealed from your kids all the time. Be the bigger person.
Peacefully approach your spouse and calmly request that you do not put the children in the middle or hold them as hostages. If the other party is keen to agree on the well-being of the kids, the two of you can then talk to your children to help them understand that some changes might be inevitable but that both of you love them. The talk prepares the kids and grounds them. It later helps them find closure quicker. If you partner doesn’t cooperate, still explain the situation to your kids without bad-mouthing your spouse.
Do all you can to maintain constant contact with your children. Do not deny your spouse access to them unless they pose dangers to the children. Do not disrupt the kids’ schedules and do not talk ill of your spouse or try to show you are better than the other. Just do all you can to foster their well-being.
Confine negativity and blame games to therapists and friends that you do not share with your spouse.
Do not let your kids see you grieve or in bad state. Take good care of yourself. Whenever you are with your spouse and especially if in front of the kids, keep positive conversations and avoid any legal talk or conflict.
Devote your conversations to discussions on improving the quality of life for the kids.
“When the divorce is settled either amicably or through litigation and a plan on the way ahead has already been stipulated with no possible future alterations, sit the kids down,” said Widrig Law PLLC. The best scenario to do it would be with the full nuclear family; both parents and all children present.
Explain to the children, in the simplest way possible, the set out plans.
Be firm but polite and loving. Let the children understand all the changes that will take root in their way of life. Let them know that you are aware it is hurtful and understand why they would be upset with you. Reassure them that it is okay to feel the way that they do and that with time, the hurt will reduce and eventually wear completely out.