The breakup of a marriage can be devastating for everyone involved. While the adults grapple with the legal issues surrounding the breakup of their marriage and the fallout with family and friends, children are often left with unanswered questions about the divorce and what will happen in the future. Fortunately, young people are resilient and can recover quickly, provided their feelings are acknowledged and the situation is properly dealt with.
The Effect of Divorce on Children
Going through the divorce of their parents is a major life event for children and is likely to impact every area of their lives. In addition to the strong emotions they are likely to experience, the situation impacts practical matters, such as where the children live, where they go to school, and their relationships with friends and extended family members. HelpGuide advises that it may seem as if their whole world has been turned upside down, prompting them to act out in certain ways. Common signs of trouble that parents can expect include:
- Acting out in school, such as a drop in grades or sudden behavioral problems;
- Refusal to obey authority at home, and challenging the parents;
- Isolating and not wanting to partake in their regular hobbies or activities;
- Spending increasing time away from home and at friend’s houses.
All of these reactions are normal, and children often move past them as they adjust to the situation. However, there are steps you can take as a parent to help them through this process.
Helping Your Child Through The Divorce Process
Recognizing your children’s feelings, acknowledging the situation in an open and honest manner, and allowing them the opportunity to express their emotions are all important in helping your kids cope with your divorce. In dealing with the fallout and the effects on your family, Kids Health offers these practical tips for parents:
- Consider your children’s schedules and try to stick to a routine during divorce proceedings as much as possible.
- Reaffirm that the divorce is not their fault, while avoiding going into too many personal details about your marriage or the breakup.
- Realize that it is important for them to continue a relationship with the other parent.
- Avoid bad mouthing your former spouse in front of your children, or using them to relay messages.
Our Michigan Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help
When facing a divorce and the potential impacts it can have on every area of your life, Benson & Associates, PLLC is here to provide the caring support and professional legal help you need. Call or contact our Michigan divorce attorneys online today and request a free, confidential consultation to see how we can assist you.