When parents divorce, the impact on children could be significantly devastating because they might feel like the world they’ve always known is falling apart. No matter how you feel about your divorce, it’s imperative that you put the needs of your children first, reminds a family counseling specialist in Westport, Connecticut. You need to put your own feelings in the backseat because it’s your responsibility to help your kids through probably one of the most difficult and confusing experiences they’ll ever have in their lives.
What happens to children when parents divorce
Divorce is difficult enough as it is, but more so if there are children involved. It’s common for them to experience a whole range of emotions, such as the following:
- Guilt, because they feel that they might be the cause of the divorce or separation
- Fear, because they might think that their parents are abandoning them
- Confused and torn between their parents
- A feeling of loss for the life they’ve always known and their home
How severely your children would be affected would depend on various factors, including their ages and maturity. But perhaps the most crucial factor of all is how you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse deal with the divorce. Studies have indicated that it’s the ongoing conflict, bitterness, and anger between parents that children feel and react to the most. You need to assure your kids constantly that you love them no matter your relationship with their other parent.
How children deal with divorce
It’s completely normal for children to lash out and get angry at the world when their parents divorce. If your children display these behaviors, try listening to what they want to communicate to you instead of punishing them or keeping quiet. It’s better for your kids to deal with their anger and direct it towards you and your ex rather than dealing with it in a self-destructive manner.
But you still need to keep a close eye on your children’s activities during this difficult time so that you could spot problematic behaviors should they occur. For instance, they might harm themselves, pick fights, withdraw, become promiscuous, or use drugs and alcohol to deal with their issues. If your children start to display these disturbing behaviors, talk to them and consult a family counselor for help.