Divorce can affect families emotionally. The magnitude of such feelings may vary. Children whose parents are going through divorce often find it difficult to cope with life. It may be especially traumatic for children and can even lead to behavioral problems.
Many parents continue to live in unhealthy marriages because they are worried about separating their families. It is important to understand how divorce can impact children. First you must decide whether divorce is the right decision for yourself. The decision is seldom easy, especially when children are involved.
Divorce is never an easy solution. It is usually the last option after having tried several other ways to manage a marriage. It can be difficult to protect your child from hurt feelings after a divorce. Unfortunately, divorce may be the healthiest option for your child if you and your spouse are no longer able to get along.
A Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer can work with you and your spouse or spouse’s attorney to negotiate a proper division of assets, establish fair terms for child custody and child support, advocate for your interests, and mediate any disputes among parties. Your child does not have to grow up in a chaotic home with warring parents.
Impact of divorce on children
This is likely to be a difficult time for all family members involved. Understanding the potential consequences of divorce may help you prepare and create more emotional stability for your child. Here are some common behavioral changes seen in children whose parents are getting divorced:
- Loss of interest in socializing
A child may lose interest in various things after a divorce. It can affect their desire and willingness to socialize with peers. Divorce can cause feelings of insecurity, causing children to distance themselves from others. It is important to pay attention to your child’s behavior. You should consider limiting the amount of information you share about the divorce proceedings and seek guidance from a mental health professional if your child shows signs of depression. After a divorce, a single parent can try to engage with the child regularly to monitor their health and well-being.
- Difficulty adapting to change
The family dynamic will change after a divorce. Holiday traditions, daily routines, even sleeping arrangements can change abruptly. Monitor how your child is adapting to these changes. They may take some time to adjust to the new dynamic, new way of life, and new surroundings. Talk to your child about any struggles they are experiencing while adjusting to the new arrangements.
- Poor academic performance
A child may suffer emotionally and psychologically. At times, their education and other performance may be affected. Children may be distracted by intrusive thoughts or anxieties, or may act out by misbehaving at school. It may become difficult for them to concentrate on studies and academics.
On the other hand, studying and extra-curricular activities such as school sports can be helpful distractions that keep them engaged in positive activities. Children who are idle and emotionally distraught can lose interest in studies and may engage in misconduct or illegal activity as a form of attention seeking. It is crucial to your child’s well-being to monitor their scholastic performance. Poor performance can be a sign of emotional distress.
- Anger issues
Behavioral issues are common, including anger issues. Children of divorced parents may find it difficult to deal with trauma and may develop feelings of anger. Oftentimes, children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce.
As a parent, it is important to communicate with your child and help them understand the situation. They may take some time to understand how their whole world is changing. Allow them the proper time to adjust. You can also try to promote sports and other physical activity to channel angry energy.
- A child may feel separation anxiety
Feelings of anxiety over time can worsen the mental state of a child. After divorce, children tend to feel separation anxiety which impacts their mood and mental health. Studies have shown that many children think they will be alone after the divorce and start developing feelings of separation anxiety. As a result, toddlers and older kids tend to have behavioral issues related to their anxieties.
- Increase in health impairments
A child’s physical health can be negatively affected by the divorce and separation of parents. It can be stressful and may take a toll on their mental health, as well. Studies have shown that children of divorce are more prone to critical health conditions. Depression, sleep problems, and other physical impairments are common, which can be harmful to the child’s health and long term well-being.
- Loss of faith in relationships and marriage
A child of divorce is more likely to believe that families and relationships will fail. This can negatively affect their lives by making it difficult for them to maintain meaningful relationships.
Parents who are getting divorced ideally plan a communication strategy to explain to their children what is happening. Planning in advance will help prevent misunderstanding and hurt feelings. It can help ensure that your child grows up in a healthy environment. At times, divorce cannot be prevented, but you can reduce potential risks with a proper plan for your child.
An experienced Philadelphia Family Lawyer can help guide you through divorce proceedings. They understand family law and can provide references and information to help you and your family transition into a new family dynamic.
Our lawyers empathize with the difficult situation that you and your family is going through. Contact a reputable attorney today.