When parents are getting a divorce, the children suffer just as much, if not more. No matter what age the child is, the process can affect certain areas of his or her life.
Some of the negative effects are temporary, but some can have long-lasting consequences. How parents handle the divorce can make a big difference.
According to Healthline, most kids are going to experience a variety of emotions when they find out their parents are splitting up. Sadness and anger are common ones. It is also common for children, especially younger ones, to feel separation anxiety. Some children, especially those who are normally outgoing, may withdraw socially, which often relates to a low self-image.
Young children may regress and begin to suck their thumbs, have temper tantrums or wet the bed. Some effects that have more of a long-lasting impact include:
- Weight gain
- Risky behaviors such as aggression and alcohol abuse
- Issues with committed relationships
The role of parents in minimizing effects
Psychology Today outlines some strategies that parents can use to reduce the short- and long-term effects of divorce on their children. Both mom and dad should share the news together to show a united parenting front. They should be as honest as possible and provide facts such as when it will happen, where everyone will live and if they can stay at their schools.
Parents should be open to any emotions the kids have and talk about them. Throughout the process, each parent should be loving and attentive to the children to demonstrate that no matter what, they will both be there for them. Parents should avoid fighting in front of the children or talking negatively about the other one. It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for changing behaviors so that everyone can take action before the problem becomes serious.