Divorce proceedings can take a major toll on anybody’s life. As adults, we undergo a lot of stress and at times trauma during a divorce. As much as it is hard on the parents, it becomes even harder when there is a child/children involved. In fact, if you look carefully, divorce affects children more than the parents. Children undergo various emotional and mental problems and often find it hard to cope with the whole situation. Here are some of the ways of how a child is affected due to the separation of his/her parents.
A child does not understand what is happening
When parents head for a divorce, a child’\s life is turned upside down. When a child is born, he/she feels secured knowing that both his/her parents are together. Moreover, the fact of having both the parents under the same roof helps a child to grow in a normal environment. However, in the case of a situation, a child cannot understand what is going on. Constant fights, anger and temper tantrums and even one of the parent walking out are some of the ways that disturbs the environment. While helping your child deal with divorce, it is important that first he/she should be aware of what is really happening.
The difference between younger and older children
Younger children are too small to understand the reason why the parents are separating. What they see or hear can influence their fragile minds and leave an unremovable mark in their minds and life. In most cases, such children also start developing a fear of relationships. They may either go into a shell or turn out to be rebellious if parents do not handle the situation properly.
In the case of older children, things can be a little more complicated. Not only do you have to deal with the problems faced by children after a divorce; however, even during the trial, you would need to be careful. Older children have a tough time adjusting to new situations. Even more, they also have to deal with their own emotional and mental battles that they undergo.
Adjusting to the lifestyle changes of a child post divorce and during the trial
Apart from the psychological effects, even the lifestyle of a child/children change during the divorce. Given the fact that they have been used to having both the parents next to them, it will take time for them to adjust to the new lifestyle.
While some children will have to deal with the trauma of seeing one of the parents shift out of the house; some children have to adjust to a new home. Sometimes, even the school changes which means that they would have to leave their friends behind.
Even on a normal basis, this kind of shift can take a toll on a child; however, in the case of a divorce, things are very different. During this time, all the forms of support that the child gets are important. Whether it is taking professional counseling, seeking help from a professional lawyer like Dean Hines, or talking to a family member or friend, make sure that our child access to all the resources he/she needs.
Meeting parents post the divorce
Before the divorce, the child/children are used to seeing both the parents whenever he/she wants. Given the fact that the entire family lives under one roof, the child does not have to worry about visiting schedules or supervised visits.
Once a divorce starts or even after it ends, a child has to adjust to the fct that he/she can meet his/her father or mother under supervision. The whole concept of adjusting to supervised visits, visits during holidays etc. becomes very uncomfortable.
Moreover, the freedom and flexibility of meeting parents reduces drastically. All these factors can affect the child/children in many ways. Sometimes if the child is close to the parent who has moved out; adjusting to this situation can be challenging as well.
Accepting new relationships post the divorce
Another way on how divorce affects children is the adaptation of new relationships. Post the divorce, both the parents may decide to move on and start dating somebody else. While this may benefit the parents as individuals, it can be painful for the child.
Children not only have to cope with the fact that their parents are no more together; however, they would also need to accept the new person in the parent’s life. While some children may take things in a positive strive, some will not accept things at all.
Coping with a new step-parent/siblings
Things will become even hard if the child has to accept a new marriage. Not many children develop a close bonding with their new stepparent. It becomes all the more difficult if there are stepsiblings involved from the previous marriage of the new parent.
Until the entire family really accepts each other completely, as a parent, you would have to deal with many things. Moreover, every situation will have to be handled very carefully to avoid the child/children feeling lonely or unwanted in any way.
Concluding note on how divorce affects children
As much as it is easy to write, one can never express the real feelings and trauma a child undergoes during a divorce. This time changes your child/children’s life drastically. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a family can still not be healthy or happy.
No doubt, each individual will have to put in tremendous efforts to help the child get over this phase. Moreover, as a parent, you also need to ensure that your child does not feel unwanted. Even if you and your spouse are no more together, you can still create a positive environment for the child.
While working on the healing process, you would need to remain calm and composed. If you want to put your point across, as a parent you need to ensure you do it smartly. Kids of today are matured and will understand things if you explain it properly. Infact, there are some kids that have a better life after the parents have separated and become successful in handling their own relationships.
Article Submitted By Community Writer