Divorce is a difficult and highly emotional experience for both spouses, but even more challenging for children who do not have the same coping mechanisms as mature adults. While some are certainly more resilient than we might think, others could suffer academically and socially due to their parents’ divorce. Understanding how this situation might affect your children will better prepare you and your ex-spouse for what to expect and how to help them endure this time of hardship.
The Emotional Impacts of Divorce
Children of divorced parents commonly suffer from abandonment issues and are more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, or commit suicide. Various studies have also shown that teens in single-parent families often require psychological help. These emotional problems frequently stem from the self-blame children are prone to experiencing. Children tend to believe they are at fault for their parents’ divorce and think that if they were different or behaved better, it might never have happened. The guilt and blame are a lot to bear, which leads to a whole host of other problems as they go through life.
To help avoid this, it is crucial to emphasize your reasons for divorce have nothing to do with them and that the divorce was an adult decision. You might also want to consider psychological counseling to help them develop a better understanding of the situation and learn effective coping mechanisms.
The Impact of Divorce on Academic Performance
The impact of divorce does not stop at a child’s emotional well-being, but trickles into other areas of life as well, including academic performance. Many studies show that children of divorced parents often fall behind in math and social skills, especially when a child is of a younger age, increasing their likelihood of repeating a grade.
The Impact of Divorce on Future Relations
A divorce might also impact a child’s future relations, making them more susceptible to entering marriage with a relatively lower level of commitment and raising their risk for a potential divorce. Having experienced their parents’ divorce, they might not have much confidence in the idea of marriage, which is why some studies say that children of divorce might go through a divorce themselves in the future.
Learning Positive Lessons from Divorce
Despite the range of negative effects that a divorce can potentially yield, it is possible for children to gain something positive from this situation, and use the lessons gleaned from it to their advantage. These lessons include:
- The importance of self-sufficiency: The split itself is not the only challenge a family will face after going through a divorce. Other challenges, particularly economic ones, often follow this dramatic change. Single parents might need an older child to be home alone for a little while after school or help perform household chores. This can teach a child how to become more responsible, self-sufficient, and confident.
- The development of resiliency: Children of divorced parents are forced to adapt to unexpected and tough circumstances, requiring them to develop coping strategies other children only learn later in life. Having to learn how to overcome obstacles early in life will make them more resilient as adults, ready to tackle any hardship.
- The development of greater empathy towards others: After experiencing the shock of their parents’ divorce, children can often become more sympathetic to the difficulties and problems of others around them.
- Increased quality time with parents: When parents divorce, they usually develop a rigid parenting plan that includes scheduled visitations. With designated opportunities that allow limited time for bonding, parents might work particularly hard to maintain and build their bonds with their children and might even plan special activities. It might be more quality time than they were used to prior to the divorce.
- A different view of marriage: While some children might grow to have a disenchanted view of marriage, others might get a better perspective because of it and learn how to make a marriage work.
San Diego Divorce Attorneys
At Cage & Miles, LLP, our San Diego divorce attorneys understand that moving forward with a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences you will ever go through as a family, especially if you have young children. Our legal team will work tirelessly to limit the impact that a divorce can have on young, impressionable children and on your future.
We have demonstrated time and again that we possess the skills, passion, and experience to represent local families throughout our communities with the utmost precision.
Contact us today at (858) 943-2060 to request a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team.