It should be no secret or surprise that the end of a marriage is potentially devastating. Not only is a divorce hard on the couple, but it is an incredibly problematic undertaking for the entire family. It’s crucial to observe and care for the children that are involved.
Watching parents break up will be very painful and confusing for them. Remember that for a child, parents make up most of their world. Witnessing the two most important people in their lives walk away from each other can be cataclysmic for their emotional development.
Children that come from broken homes are likely to engage in delinquent and poor behavior due to anger and anxiety, as they feel caught in between the fight and the pressure they put on themselves to remedy the muddle or choose a side. Stress takes a toll on school performance, social connections, and confidence. Adolescents with parents that have split are also more likely to partake in risky practices like increased drug and alcohol use and early sexual activity.
Research shows that episodes are particularly arduous during the first couple of years after the divorce, but steps can be taken to repair the damaging effects of divorce on children.
The Importance of Recovery
The struggles of a severed bond can cause tremendous mental harm and grief. Adult hearts will mend, eventually, but there should be a focus on helping children recover from traumatic divorce and the unavoidable hurt. Long after you’ve moved on, the repercussions from the severance can be everlasting for a child and the outlook of their future relationships.
You might experience bouts of depression and hopelessness as you enter a period of the unexpected. While you are already going through a tough transition and preparing for monumental changes in your life, bear in mind that like you, your children will feel the consequences of divorce. It is important to take all actions to bring your home to a place of healing and stability. Do not add more stress by expecting to perform miracles. Start by talking to your family. Feel no shame in reaching for assistance if needed to rehabilitate in order to find yourself again.
Here’s How You Can Help
Divorce is a common problem. So much so that many people may want to offer advice from personal experiences. For some moving on from a breakup is a matter-of-fact reality. Simple solutions, like time alone or reading, are enough for many. For others, it is not so easy. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional or psychiatric counseling to help take the best steps toward mental healing and life recovery.
Do Not Sugarcoat the Problem
As you notice that there are many bumps in the road and you start to make pertinent decisions about your divorce and the future, it is wise not to sugarcoat the reality of the situation. Honesty is a healthy way of addressing major problems. This is especially true when children are involved. They are young but often much more aware of emotional turmoil than we realize.
That being said, as confusing as relationships are for adults, kids need extra frankness, so they do not end up resentful from confusion, unanswered questions, and poor communication. False hope may seem considerate, but instead, it prolongs and exasperates matters. Being open might not make the circumstances less painful, but it will encourage your family to honor integrity and make it possible to channel frustrations in a sound manner.
Reconcile With Your Kids
As time moves forward, adults start to find their place in a divorce. Whether it ends peacefully or not will depend on each case. It is always important, however, that a serious attempt is made to make some accord for the sake of the children. Making amends is beneficial between partners and also required for the wellbeing of children.
Reconcile with your kids. Make sure that they understand as much as they need to know to understand the end of your relationship. Unresolved concerns about ruinous family disputes can cause lifetime anger and anxiety. Even if the love part of a union is ending, the responsibilities of parenting are everlasting. So if nothing else is corrected, ensure your children are informed, and as can be with seeing their parents split. Do your best to remedy any hidden animosity toward either or themselves.
Encourage Open Communication
It’s never too late to speak your mind. The finest way to heal a crisis is through compromise. Although it is no easy task, being open in your relationship and with your family is key to moving forward. Closed channels of communication might be the source of troubles, to begin with, so it is vital at this juncture to attempt to salvage any connections for the wellbeing of you and your children. As you come to terms with the end of your marriage, they will surely need a solid explanation of what is occurring within the household.
How much you choose to reveal is subjective, but it is imperative that they feel fully secure in the bonds they have with each parent and that they do not carry the burden of the breach on their shoulders. Honesty is especially key with older kids that are highly intuitive and cognizant of their environment. Also, allow your family to express their questions, concerns, and opinions freely, without judgment.
Let Your Kids Feel Emotions
It might seem easier to block out any negative feelings we encounter, but allowing natural emotions to emerge can be better than avoidance. The youth are very adaptable. They might seem completely well soon after a significant or traumatic experience, like witnessing their parents divorce.
But repressed affections and deep distress are likely to resurface later and be more dangerous, causing an array of psychological instabilities, including debilitating insecurities and troubles maintaining healthy relationships. As long as those reactions are expressed in a respectfully civil and nonbelligerent manner, there is no harm in allowing your children to endure their sentiments.
Surviving hardships eventually mold stronger and more capable individuals. Learn how to accept your own emotions and be there to guide your family as they figure out the changes.
Life happens. Sometimes love expires, and people decide it’s time to go their separate ways. While this is true, even in divorce, it should not be an option to move on from your kids, regardless of the condition of the pending or settled relationship.
As parents, it’s key to find some area of pacification in the interest of the children. Remain truthful, yet be mindful in order to circumvent explosive, toxic arguments around vulnerable eyes and ears. Always remind them that, even during the most difficult of times, they are loved. Seek out family therapy if necessary and welcome all the support you need.