PSYCHOLOGICAL AFTERMATH OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN
It is without a doubt of any sort that divorce is a painful and heart wrenching process to endure for children. The matrimonial unison that they saw in their parents, the two people that held their family together, is not divided and no longer run-in parallel lines. Their idea of “family” now takes a twist and no longer means the same family life they always knew. Children of divorced homes are highly impacted by it as it is just something that they needed to accept many children would think that their opinion not worth a thought at all.
Therefore, below are a few pointers on how to ease the psychological effects suffered by children after their parents have decided to or have attained a divorce:
The bonding between the child and each of their parent, prior to the divorce
The quality of relationship shared between the child and the parent before separation or divorce is a vital factor to place consideration upon, as well as, to maintain post divorce. If the child shared an extremely close bond with his or her parents whilst they were together, it is important to show the child that despite the breakdown in the marriage, your love for the child remains the same. It is important that as parents, you still spend the same amount of time with your child. Children are mostly affected when a parent alienates them, because the parents are too busy rebuilding his or her own new life.
This makes the child feel unwanted and unloved and as a result, the child may develop depression and in their desperation for love and attention, it is common for children of divorced homes to seek for the same from untoward sources such as: mixing with the wrong company of friends, getting involved in illegal substances like drugs or alcohol abuse, getting involved in truancy, etc.
Display by the parents of their differences amongst each other
It is extremely unhealthy for two adults to continuously embellish in their disagreements by fighting and shouting at each other in the presence of their children. Physical violence, name calling and shouting your lungs out at each other in front of your child is a big no. Whilst sometimes it is inevitable to do so, because it is a spur of the moment reaction, it is improper for this to be a frequent habit. Naturally, a child develops emotions of sadness whilst watching their parents rip each other’s heads apart. Try to keep your disagreements with your partner private, and away from your child. In addition to that, by fighting with your partner in the presence of your child, your child may think that it is okay to shout and be disrespectful towards another person.
Also, the child may start siding one parent and thence develop a sense of resentment towards one parent or the other. although you and your partner may not want to stay married any longer, the fact that you both are parents towards the child will not change. Therefore, the child should still continue to have an equal amount of respect and love towards both parents.
Emphasis upon the needs and necessities of their child in their divorce.
As stated above, children who watch their parents go through a divorce, are filled with an array of emotions in them. Although it is unable to completely stop your child from feeling sad about the situation, as a parent you can do certain things to alleviate the emotional pain suffered by the child. Inject a continuous reminder in the child’s mind that as parents, your love for your child remains the same and is unending. Handle your child emotionally and practically. Parents shouldn’t be too permissive with the child. As the saying goes, love is not just words, but actions too. It is not enough for a parent to just tell the child that they love them. Do things with your child. Spend time with your child.
Talk to your child. However, many parents slip into this misunderstanding era that, to alleviate the pain my child feels, maybe I should spoil him or her, and give in to the child’s requests. WRONG. The trick is to maintain all the rules and regulations you had before, and still having the ability to share a bond with your child.
Studies have shown that children who succeed in life after divorce are usually from homes where, when it concerns matters relating to the child, both parents are able to place their differences aside and still work together. Remember that you can divorce your partner, but never your child.