Divorce is a devastating and painful process, not just for adults, but also for their children whose worlds are often turned inside out when their parents separate.
Children of divorcing parents are often very frightened and confused by the shake up of the stability and security that divorce can create. Divorce can be very detrimental to a child's development, unless his or her parents make a conscious and collaborative effort to explain what is happening and to shield them from the very destructive feelings and situations that can arise from a divorce.
Children may often believe they are at fault for the problems between their parents. Vulnerability to both physical and mental illnesses can arise as a result of a loss of contact with or alienation from a parent in the aftermath of a divorce. in the traumatic loss of one or both parents through divorce. However, with care, communication and self-discipline, parents can help their children deal constructively with their parents' divorce.
Divorcing parents, no matter how fractured their relationship may be, should put their children first and remember that they are entitled to the following.
--A lasting relationship with both parents --Number one priority in both parents' lives --Freedom from interparental hostility --Attention to their emotional and physical needs. --Input into the visitation schedule; remember, it's their life you're organizing --No displacement by competing relationships --No requirement to parent their parents --Freedom from the role of messenger --Parental cooperation throughout the divorce --Truthful answers to their questions about the divorce --Freedom from guilt, blame and shame --No parental coercion to keep secrets --An understanding of the divorce agreement
Parents should be alert to signs of distress in their child or children. Young children may become aggressive, older children may become depressed. Their schoolwork may suffer and they may develop later problems in maintaining relationships.
The harm of divorce to children can be mitigated if they know that their mother and father will still be their parents and remain involved with them even though they are splitting up. Long custody disputes or pressure on a child to pick a side can be very harmful for children and cause lifelong psychological problems. Children do best when parents can put aside differences and work together on behalf of the child.
Parents' ongoing commitment to the children of divorce is vital. By staying involved and letting their children know they have two loving parents, the negative impacts of divorce can be mitigated. children to help cope with the aftereffects of divorce. Trained counselors can suggest behaviors and strategies to reduce conflict and enable parents to create a functional arrangement for the upbringing of their children.
About the Author
Elijah James has over ten years of experience in family law, and shares all his secrets on Children And Divorce and Family Law on his website www.webfamilylaw.com