Divorce affects all parties involved in different ways. When a family is broken up, unfortunately, the children usually suffer too. Divorce has a huge impact on children emotionally and mentally. Some parents who understand this even end up thinking they should stay together just for the sake of the kids. However, some go ahead and divorce.
When parents divorce, the most significant change for children will be their living arrangement. If there is a custody battle and one parent wins, children will often find themselves in a totally different environment, and with one parent.
So what are the emotional effects of divorce on children? Children react differently to such situations. While some children will be greatly affected, some will handle it quite well and move on faster.
Fortunately, there are things that parents can do to help minimize the emotional impact of divorce on their children. The major focus should be on helping children cope and adjust to the new situation.
Emotional Impact of Divorce
Divorce can create confusion for the entire family. Adults will generally understand what’s happening, and they would have likely been preparing for it for a long time.
However, for children, the situation is a bit different. Divorce for children can be a lot scarier, confusing, and highly stressful.
When parents divorce, children often struggle to understand why they can’t be together with both parents as a family. This is further complicated by them having to go between two homes.
Also, in the eyes of the children, if their parents got to a point where they don’t love each other anymore, they often wonder if they too might end up not being loved. This creates a lot of confusion, uncertainty, and fear in children.
Younger children might also start thinking that the divorce is somehow their fault. Some might even think that they misbehave in a way that led to their parents not wanting to be together. This creates feelings of guilt. On the other hand, older kids might become angry at the situation and the transformation it brings.
Additionally, some might even start blaming one parent for the divorce. This situation is made worse if one parent tries to badmouth the other to the children.
This ends with kids resenting one or both parents for breaking up their family. It is also not uncommon to have children that are relieved by the divorce. This usually happens in situations where there were a lot of arguments and fighting.
There are many emotions that are brought about by divorce. Children might start feeling angry, anxious, confused, and unwanted. Some children also experience feelings of loss after a divorce. Divorce can also leave kids feeling overwhelmed and emotionally sensitive . To help with this, children will need some sort of outlet. It can help them if there is someone to talk to. It is advisable to find a specialist who can talk to the children and just listen.
For instance, you can take your children to Courageous Kids Counseling, New City New York. This will greatly help them to process their emotions.
When children are overwhelmed and don’t know how to cope with situations, they can use anger as an outlet for their emotions. You will also notice that the children might become highly irritable.
This anger can be directed at many things, including things they think caused the separation of their family. It’s not uncommon to have children being angry at their parents, friends, or siblings. Because children cope differently, some might be able to deal with this anger, and for some, it might persist for a long time.
Counselors like those at Courageous Kids Counseling, New City New York can help when there is a prolonged anger issue because of divorce.
Feelings of Guilt
Children often do not understand why their parents have to divorce. As such, they might start thinking about why this could have happened to their parents. Sometimes, they can start blaming themselves and their behavior for the divorce. This is one of the most common effects of divorce on children.
Unfortunately, these feelings of guilt can lead to more complex problems. For instance, children who constantly feel guilty for their parents’ divorce can end up depressed or stressed. It is important to try and help the children understand that the divorce was in no way their fault.
You can also take your children for counseling. This can help you do away with these feelings of guilt.
When parents go through a divorce, children will lose daily contact with one of them. In most cases, custody is given to the mother, so fathers usually move away and stay somewhere else.
Children can be greatly affected by not seeing their father as often as they used to. This decreased contact can affect the father-child bond and result in the children feeling less close to their fathers.
Divorce also has an impact on the children’s relationship with the custodial parent. There is a lot of stress that comes as a result of single parenting, and this will have some sort of effect on the bond between the parents and children.
Research shows that mothers can become a bit less supportive and emotionally available after a divorce. Also, their disciplinary mechanisms will become less consistent and less effective.
For some children, it’s not the living situation that affects them the most. Instead, the accompanying stress makes everything complicated. They will often end up transferring to new schools, changing homes, and staying with one parent who doesn’t appear to be as caring as they used to be.
This makes divorce quite difficult for children.
The financial situation also changes after a divorce. This results in the family having to move into a smaller space in a more affordable neighborhood. Children will also likely have lesser material resources post-divorce. All this creates a lot of stress. You must never ignore your children when they are stressed and hope the situation will resolve itself.
Therefore, it is advisable to look for help. You can book counseling sessions at Courageous Kids Counseling, New City New York. Your kids will benefit a lot from having someone share some coping mechanisms with them.
Mental Health Issues
Because of the emotional issues that occur after a divorce, children will face a higher risk of mental health problems. This is also most common in adolescents. Research shows that children from divorced homes often exhibit a lot of psychological problems.
For instance, divorce usually triggers an adjustment disorder. However, this usually resolves within a few months. The only problems that may linger for longer are depression and anxiety.
How to Help Kids Copy With the Emotional Impact of Divorce
Some of the emotional problems that occur as a result of divorce will not go away on their own. This means that as a parent, you should find ways to help your child cope with these issues. One of the best ways to achieve this is to explain to the children what’s happening so that they understand.
While this might not be a complete solution for the problems, at least it helps with some issues like children thinking they caused the divorce.Even after the finality of the divorce has been made clear to children, they might still have hopes that their parents will one day get back together. If you are experiencing this with your children, here are some ways you can help.
Seeking Help From a Counselor
This is probably the most effective way to help your children after a divorce. When you seek help from a counselor, you not only help your children, but you also get to maintain healthy boundaries with your kids.
Apart from getting counseling for your kids, you must also get counseling. This is crucial so that you don’t end up leaning on your children for support. For child counseling and support, you can check out Courageous Kids Counseling, New City New York. Counseling has many benefits for your children, and it is a proven way to minimize the emotional impact of divorce on kids.
Apart from getting counseling for your kids, you can also:
- Encourage honesty – this will help kids to know that their feelings matter and that they are taken seriously.
- Legitimize their feelings – inform your kids that their feelings are valid. Before you start offering solutions, make sure you listen to all they have to say.
- Offer support – constantly ask your kids if there is anything you can do to make the situation better. You can also suggest a few ideas of your own.
- Keep yourself healthy – it is important that you keep yourself healthy for the sake of your children. Divorce can be very stressful, and it can bring out the worst in you, which will affect children even more.
Remember to get help. Divorce is the worst time to try and do everything on your own.
There are several counseling centers like Courageous Kids Counseling, New City New York that can help with issues linked to children & divorce.