The biggest damage from a divorce between couples happens to a child. Their life turns upside down and they don’t understand what to do. A child is heartbroken and extremely confused to see his family ripped apart. The impact of divorce varies from child to child and various factors decide how they cope with the situation. The factors are the age of the child, gender, innocence, understanding and behavior. A child at the age of 10-12 might be able to understand what a divorce is but a child below that age is unable to comprehend the sudden absence of one of the parent in their daily lives. Such children don’t understand the problem and therefore feel depressed and lonely. However, no matter how grown up the child is a divorce will have effect on him or her. They might be able to get over it after sometime but the separation of their parents will have a long lasting effect on them.
Effects of divorce on the family
Divorce is an extreme situation and the whole family is shocked by this decision even if they seeing it coming. Just think about it if it is such a shock for the adults even what will be its effect on an innocent child who is most close to their parents. No matter which parents goes away from the child the impact will always be severe. And then divorce is a bitter and tension filled experience for all family members and all the family members are some way or the other affected by this happening. Everyone is a loser in this battle and the child too has to lose something as well as someone.
Impact of divorce on children
When the family is so shell shocked it is not realistic to expect that the child would not be traumatized at their tender age. The child the going to suffer the consequences of the separation of one of the parents and then there is the fear of the facing his friends who will obviously be taking about the separation of his/her parents. No matter how peaceful and amiable the parents try to make the process of divorce there is no denying the fact that in no way the path will be easy for the children. The effects of the parent’s divorce can be seen on the child for years to come so it is necessary to discuss some methods to make it as easy as possible for children:
- Don’t hide the truth of divorce from children This is where many of the parents do mistake. Trusting your child and letting him know what is going on in the family is important. If parents have decided to proceed for divorce then tell you child about it and if the child is old enough to understand give him the reasons and ask for his opinions. It is possible that the child will understand the situation and will suggest and agree to certain conditions for the happiness of the whole family.
- Help and counsel the children to cope with divorce If the child is old enough to understand what divorce is then it is better to give him the opportunity to express his views otherwise the child will feel neglected and might go into depression. In such a case help the child to understand the reasons and explain to certain extent how both parents are planning for the child’s welfare.
- Never fight or blame your spouse in front of the child Whatever might be the reasons for divorce never fight or blame your spouse on front of the child. Don’t say that this all is happening because of the other person. This blame game will just separate the child from one of the parent and imbalance his life. Let the child have the independent who is wrong and who is right but letting him know the facts and analyze the situation himself.
- Make your child understand what divorce is and why is it necessary A child will rarely expect hi parents to take the extreme step of divorce therefore it is important that you tell him as soon as possible so that they get ample time to let the situation sink in and the impact on the final separation in minimized. The sudden absence of one of the parent-be it the mother or the father is going to plague the child hard and for long so he will need some time to adjust to the new surrounding and come out of the shell. If the child is with a parent who is moving out then there will also be new school, new friends and new neighborhood so they will need some time to adjust.
- Allow the child to vent up his thought and feelings Never ask the children to not talk about the situation. The mental state of the child after divorce is very disturbed and during this time any misconception or fear must be come out in front of you so that you are able to deal with the situation and protect your children from any extreme step. Let him open up and share his feelings. This will speed up recovery and adjustment to the new surroundings.
- Don’t let the child blame himself for the situation Children have a tendency to feel overtly responsible for any eventuality in the family and the separation of parents is an extreme case. Even if your child expresses it or not it is your responsibility and of your spouse if possible to remove any misconceptions regarding this from the child’s mind.
- Reassure the child about the love and care in his life The biggest fear in the child’s mind from a divorce is the lowering of the love and care he gets from both the parents. If possible then both the parents should reassure the child that they will always be there for him and there will be no change in their love. However even if you are alone then tell him how much you love him and how there will be no change in him upbringing. After the divorce take care that you are always there for the child no matter what may be the situation and if you get the support of your ex then this will reduce the trauma to a great extent.