Divorce can take a toll on not only you, but also your children. It can
be traumatic to recognize and accept that a marriage must end. However,
in order to help your children through this process, it is helpful to
know some common effects divorce can have on the kids.
Common Effects Children Experience During Divorce
Placing the Blame and Guilt on Themselves
Many young children do not understand the complexities of divorce or why
their parents decided to go their different paths. If you do not communicate
clearly to them why you’ve decided to end your marriage, they may
begin to internalize negative emotions. Running mainly on instincts, children
tend to place the blame on themselves, harboring a sense of guilt.
Feelings of Mistrust Arise
Children tend to believe that their parents will stay together forever.
When they learn of the divorce, they can start questioning some of their
fundamental views. They may begin mistrusting their preconceived notions
of the world. This may make it difficult for them to form strong bonds
or trust others.
When a child is confused or angry, they will tend to act out. This can
occur in many different forms given the child’s age. Young children
may constantly require attention and reaffirmation of love. Older children
may act out in their schools, which can cause their grades to drop and
their relationships with others to suffer.
Feeling Caught in the Middle
Divorce can be messy, especially when tumultuous feelings are involved.
If the parents fail to treat each other with respect, the children can
feel like they are caught in the middle. Often, children feel like they
must choose one parent over the other. This is especially the case when
one parent badmouths the other to the kids. This is not healthy for anyone involved.
Sense of Relief
In some cases, if the parents experience a particularly fraught marriage,
the children might feel a sense of relief when the parents announce their
divorce. In cases where the couple constantly fought, the child may just
be happy they didn’t need to hear arguments.
Divorce can be difficult for all parties involved. However, to help your
children avoid negative effects, be honest and open with them. Communicate
why the divorce is happening and remind them you love them. Encourage
a caring, trusting relationship between you and your kids.
At James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys, we understand how hard ending a marriage
can be. To protect
your family’s rights and legal counsel, contact our San Bernardino divorce attorney. We offer
free consultations and will help you get through this.