Children and Divorce - Impact and Effects
The issue of children and divorce is a major concern when parents separate and split up. Children of divorced families will have to live with either one of their parents, travel between one home to the other or totally lose contact with either one. The majority of children experience the absence of dads.
How does divorce affect children?
According to US Department of Health and Human Services children who grew up in the absence of their fathers in their lives are twice likely to drop out of high school and end up in jail and four times as likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems. Another expert claimed that over 80% of those committing violent crimes did not have the biological father in the home when they were growing up.
But divorces still keep happening every day and everywhere.
Children and Divorce - How to Reduce the Negative Effects of Divorce on Children
Arrange a joint custody.
Each parent has a role in the children's lives and these children need both parents. One of the best arrangements to overcome the issue of children and divorce is to have a joint custody. Both parents share equal responsibility in the children's upbringing and welfare including guidance and assistance. Unless your ex husband have a very bad influence, like is abusive and an alcoholic, you shouldn't stop them from seeing and being with their dad.
Be civil in your children's presence.
Even if you hate each other, avoid at all cost to argue and fight in your children's presence. If the issues that you fight are about them, they will feel that it's their faults and blame themselves. Children who witness the bitterness between their parents might develop personality disorders. One of the long term effects of divorce on children is they have social issues, can become a commitment phobic and irresponsible.
Don't use them as your messenger. Speak directly to your ex husband about issues regarding your children's needs and upbringing. Your children will admire and respect your assertiveness.
Avoid forcing them to choose sides.
Kids want to love both their parents. If you demand them to take sides, you are giving them tremendous pressure and causing them emotional pains. They might abide initially but they could turn out to become difficult, rebellious and troubled teenagers.
Don't make nasty comments.
Don't make nasty comments about their dads and put the blame on your former husband. Be sensitive about your children's feelings. Some of them haven't reached the level of maturity to understand but when they do, they'll recall and remember and will feel hurt.
Communicate with your kids.
If you have teenaged children, discuss and talk about certain issues like how some things like living arrangements will require some changes. But don't talk about the details of why your marriage collapsed and what your former husband did or didn't do. Tell and show them that you love them. Make them feel assured, safe and secure.
Teach and show them about personal values, accountability and responsibility. Become a good role model to them. Educate them about budgeting, money management and living frugal. But don't complain about your money worries, the lack of financial support and your difficulties because they might assume that they are a burden to you.
Allow your nuclear family into your life.
Your young children don't understand the meaning of divorce and its repercussions. Even without the presence of their dad, they can get the fatherly influence through your brothers and father. Allow your nuclear family into your life and let your children feel the sense of family.
Make time for them.
It's a challenge because you have to balance your career, household duties, social obligations, your personal life and of course your children. This is when effective personal and time management come in. You have to learn to set your priorities and your children should always be on top of your list. Let them feel that they are loved and cared for.
Give them the attention they need. Get involved in their lives and activities at home and outside. If you have young children, you might have to sacrifice and put dating and relationships on hold for a while because developing a new relationship takes time and effort. And you need all the time you have to be with your children.
Be optimistic and positive.
Children can sense their parents' vibes. They can feel if you are anxious, fearful and doubtful. Keep your mind positive and optimistic and you'll feel cheerful in spite of being a single mother with all the challenges. If you can maintain the optimistic attitude, your children will grow up in a positive environment and won't be negatively affected by their parent's separation.
Get professional help.
If you can't handle it and need help on how to handle the issue of children and divorce, see a counselor for guidance and assistance.
Additional Children and Divorce Resources
Children and Divorce - Quotes about the Affect of Divorce to Children.
"During the first 10 years of my life, while my parents were married, I enjoyed a privileged upbringing. After their divorce, my life was difficult". - Bianca Jagger
"I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me." - Kurt Cobain
"My parent's divorce and hard times at school, all those things combined to mold me, to make me grow up quicker. And it gave me the drive to pursue my dreams that I wouldn't necessarily have had otherwise." - Christina Aguilera
"My parents were divorced and I didn't grow up with my father, but I spent a lot of time around him, and his influence on me has been profound." - Laura Linney
"When my dad divorced my mom it was kind of like him leaving me also." - Nicole Richie
"Since her divorce, I haven't had a home since I left there, but hey, I'm glad." - Mariah Carey
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