The first concern for parents is their children, and this is especially true during a divorce. Hopefully, that concern will help make a divorce amicable, but if it does not, there can be some sever consequences for the child. In this blog we will explore some of those child divorce side effects and how to mitigate them through an amicable divorce.
Lowered self-esteem and difficulties at school
Divorce can mean the end of friendships the destruction of a child’s social life because they often have to move away from the family home and out of their school district. This can lead to academic problems, loss of social adeptness and lower self-esteem. This can be avoided though, or at least mitigated. If it is possible to nest or keep the family home, that may be advisable. If not, then staying close to the area or in the school district can help lessen the effect of the divorce. Though, setting up play dates, getting tutors, and constantly reassuring the children that they are loved and it is not their fault can help. Engaging a child counselor may help address self-esteem issues.
Another common effect of divorce on children is anxiety about their future. They may begin to feel like they will never feel loved or safe again, which can lead to social withdrawal, depression and stress. Anxiety can be reduced by being open and honest about what is happening, and also making future plans for after the divorce with both parents. Let them create wish lists, draw pictures about the future, write stories or in a journal and let them be a part of creating the post-divorce life.
Divorce can create feelings of abandonment for children, which can be exacerbated if the child knows the other parent is spending time with a new partner or children. This can make the child feel like they are not part of their family anymore. They may also be afraid that their parental time will be limited, which can cause them to dread spending time with one or both parents. This can be helped by talking with one’s kids about their fears and help them work through their feelings.
A key takeaway for our Sacramento, California, readers is that divorce can and likely will affect the children. However, with a bit of planning and forethought, those affects can be mitigated or, possibly, eliminated.