For decades now we have been hearing about how a divorce can have a negative impact on children. While divorce may genuinely be the best decision for you and your spouse, the effect on your children may be different.
Even children who are old enough to understand what divorce is and why it happens may experience negative psychological effects from their parents’ divorce. The good news is that the effects are different for each child and some children handle divorce easier than others.
The effect can depend on the child’s age
Divorce is usually going to create some form of stress for all children. Younger children may have difficulty switching between two homes and worry that their parents will stop loving them the way they stopped loving each other, while slightly older children might blame themselves for the divorce.
Anger is a common reaction to divorce among teenagers. They are often upset at the changes in their life at a time when they are already going through many changes.
There are some strategies you and your spouse can use to help minimize the effect of divorce on your children.
Your children learn from you
It helps if you already have a respectful and cooperative relationship with each other. You both serve as role models for your children and the way you interact with someone you have conflict with will set an example for them.
This can be easier said than done. If you truly struggle to act cordially to your spouse, consider attending therapy or counseling to help you work through these feelings.
Keep your children out of adult problems
The divorce process in New Jersey involves many important decisions and disputes are likely to arise at some point. Do not put your children in the middle of these disputes, even if it is something minor such as asking them to tell your spouse something. Children should be left out of adult issues.
Divorce often causes behavioral or academic problems in children, so pay closer attention to your children during this time. This can help reduce the chance of these types of problems.
While there is no way to shield children from all effects of divorce, these tips can help them adjust and maintain healthy relationships with both you and your spouse.