If you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, you may worry about how this decision might impact your kids. After all, divorce is a serious adjustment for children of all ages. For a lot of them, divorce allows them to face the real world for the first time. often, a child has to adjust to moving between houses or the absence of one parent. Usually, divorce is the first experience of a child with change. As a parent, you can help your child adjust to the new situation more easily when you understand how they feel. Although each child handles divorce differently, a Newton divorce attorney can give you insights into the best approach to help your child.
How Divorce Can Affect Kids of Different Ages
The way a child reacts to their parents’ divorce will vary depending on their age group.
- Childhood. A young child who experiences a divorce may become more dependent on one parent due to a lack of security and confidence. The social life of a child revolves around their family, so having divorced parents is like losing a close friend. Sometimes, divorced parents may have difficulty telling their child that the divorce is permanent, especially if the child thinks their parents will sort out their problem someday. Therefore, a young child may have a problem processing their parents’ divorce and this can manifest as anxious behavior.
Sometimes, a grade-school-age child might think they caused the divorce. A lot of kids associate sadness with their misbehaviors; thus, they may think they are responsible for causing their parents’ separation.
- Adolescence. As a child becomes an adolescent, they start to think more independently than before. Thus, adolescents usually feel angry and may react to their parents’ separation with retaliation.
Helping Your Child Following Your Divorce
As your child deals with your divorce, they should be helped in re-establishing their sense of trust, predictability, and order. You must reassure them that you and your ex will do everything to make the new family situation work.
Deciding to get a divorce comes with uncertainties. To help your kids cope with the divorce, try to get ahead of things while they have not become overwhelmed. Depending on the complexity of your divorce, it can take months or more than one year to be finalized. Obtaining a temporary order will let you more easily transition into parenting following divorce and get your kids accustomed to following the agreed-upon visitation schedules.