The end of your marriage is sure to have an impact on your kids. Even if you and your ex are on good terms chances are your children will experience a range of negative emotions, from anger to guilt and virtually everything in between. Very Well Family explains some of the emotional effects kids experience after their parents’ divorce, as well as tips on how you can handle the issue.
Children may feel guilty
Many kids believe they had a hand in their parents’ separation. You can reduce these beliefs by keeping issues between you and your ex out of your children’s lives. Never bad mouth your former spouse and don’t use your kids as bargaining tools. Make sure they understand what occurred had nothing to do with them, and reinforce this statement frequently through your words and actions.
They might believe they’re no longer loved
In the same token, kids may feel as though you’ll stop loving them one day. For smaller children, make sure they know they are safe and loved. Keeping the same routines, such as family dinners and bedtime stories, help enforce the feeling of being loved. Also, make sure your ex is offering the same type of reassurance. A lack of love in the home, even when perceived, can lead to significant emotional issues well into adulthood.
Older kids often feel resentful
Older adolescents and teens may have angry responses to their parents’ divorce. They may even blame one parent over the other, which can lead to fighting and discipline issues. If these problems continue and impact other areas of a child’s life, such as school, behavioral counseling is a good idea. Parents are also encouraged to monitor their children’s social activities and implement rules to prevent them from acting out in a destructive manner.