Studies find the major issues kids battle with during a split
We wrote earlier about the physical effects that divorce has on children. But what about the mental effects caused by the separation of all they knew?
That's what sociologists and family psychologists were trying to answer when they began a study. And after thousands of hours of research, they have narrowed the three most common thoughts of children whose parents are gong through divorce.
Tell me it's not my fault Many children don't know why the divorce is happening, considering their narrow worldview revolves around doing homework, school events and watching TV. They don't understand cheating or drifting apart or any other reason why you are divorcing. Besides the divorce not going through, their main hope is that they're not the reason this is happening. Reassure them and tell them. Don't assume they know.
Don't put me in the middle Divorcing parents find plenty of ways to unknowingly put their children in the middle of the battlefield. Whether it's making them act as a facilitator in your conversations ("Tell your mother…"), act as a courier, shuttling items from one to the other, or just trying to obviously curry favor with them to take "their side," children hate being pawns in the divorce game.
Don't take your anger out on me When parents are in the middle of their arguments, it's very easy to get swept up in the anger and snap at the children. Also, when parents have their minds on the proceedings and are very on edge, an innocent question about homework could set them off. Don't be that person who is a horrible to be around. It makes the kids not want to be with you, but also, it could bite you later on when they have to decide where to go once the papers are signed.
We know that as parents, going through a divorce is doubly tough. Trying to figure out where you're going to live in six months, or where your next paycheck is coming from, is paramount. All we're suggesting is that you regularly check-in with your child to find out what their feelings are. It could prevent a lot of anger in them as they grow older, and make your current divorce proceedings, as well are your divorced life, go a lot easier.