Any parent who has gone through a divorce knows how important it is to consider how it will affect the kids. In some situations, it is the best thing that can happen for children in the family, especially if the marriage is toxic. But how divorce affects children means there are some things to look for afterward so that you can support your kids in the best way possible.
Here are three factors that can affect how your kids might handle divorce.
How Divorce Affects Children: Conflict
Depending on the amount of conflict in your marriage prior to divorce, your kids could have a tough time adjusting to the new family structure. Research suggests that kids whose parents fight often or whose relationship is abusive will have an easier time after the process is complete. Removing the conflict is a positive influence on their daily lives, leading to lower stress levels.
On the other side of things, children whose parents did not have a combative relationship are more likely to struggle to accept the divorce. The reason for this difficulty to accept the change is probably because they cannot think of why the split had to happen.
How Divorce Affects Children: Resilience vs. Vulnerability
Just as adults have varying capacity to deal with adversity in a healthy way, so do children. Most of the time, children are resilient and adjust well to change. If your kids have adjusted well to change in the past, they will probably adjust to life after divorce well, too. It is possible, however, for one of your children to make the adjustment without problems while another struggles to adapt. If any of your children have a hard time adjusting to new situations, be sure to check in with them often after the divorce.
How Divorce Affects Children: Stability
A third critical factor consider if you are worried about how your children will handle your uncoupling is how stable life has been for them in the past. If they’ve had to adjust to a lot of new situations in the past, such as moving into a new home or changing schools, it’s possible that they won’t adjust well after divorce. Even more important is how much stability your children have after the divorce. Piling on more challenges as they deal with their emotions is probably not the best way to foster a healthy environment. If you can, avoid any big changes that can disrupt their lives even further.
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