Children are always affected by their parents’ decision to divorce. The question is, how? Depending on a myriad of factors, including a child’s age, stage and temperament, and the amount of conflict and tension in the parents’ relationship, a child’s reaction can range from devastation to relief. Here is a sampling of what I have heard from kids when asked how hard it was to learn that parents were getting unmarried:
“I was so, so, so sad. I cried a long time and so did my brother.”
“It felt like a really bad dream to hear the words.”
“I wasn’t surprised. I’ve seen this coming for a long time.”
“To tell you the truth, it was a relief. Our house is so much more peaceful now.”
“At first I couldn’t believe it, but I’m getting used to it. I just want everyone to be
Children ARE resilient, but they can’t do it in a vacuum. They need adults to remain attuned to their needs in order to have a healthy recovery from a life crisis. It is so important to keep the crisis of divorce from becoming a trauma for a child
Experience, research and common sense tell us that the most negative impacts on a child’s resilience after a divorce are ongoing, unresolved high conflict between parents, and feeling abandoned if a parent moves away or significantly reduces his or her involvement in the child’s life. These painful outcomes are preventable, when separating and divorcing parents recognize their children’s needs and make a commitment to respectful and effective co-parenting. Our Family Forward can help!