Children endure divorce differently. How they cope with their family’s broken situation often depends on the severity of conflict between their parents or their age-based understanding of the changes around them.
But no matter the circumstances, research shows that children of divorce are at an increased risk of experiencing welfare issues growing up.
While some parents successfully shield their children from the damaging impact of divorce, there are children exposed to high conflict showing more behavioral problems that spill over to other facets of their developing years.
Younger kids may regress or exhibit conduct that they should have already outgrown. They may demand heightened attention and become clingy again by always wanting to eat and sleep with their parents.
Further, adolescent children may process their emotions by “acting out.” They may channel their anger and frustration through:
- Poor academic performance: Neglecting schoolwork, getting low grades and dropping out
- Withdrawal or isolation: Avoiding difficult talks, not maintaining social circles, or keeping to themselves and suffering a depressive state
- Substance and sexual harm: Falling into the wrong peers, using drugs, drinking alcohol and engaging in early sexual activity
Ultimately, parents can guide their children to overcome overwhelming odds. They can provide necessary support during these challenging times. For example, they can express how they can always lend a listening ear when things are bothering or confusing their children. They can also make their children feel a sense of stability by prioritizing familiar routines, such as spending quality time over good food or other hobbies.
It takes resilient parents to model ways that their children can emulate when things get too tough. However, parents can build a professional support system to assist them with shaping their children’s future. Mental health practitioners can give therapy for mental health concerns. When handling disputed issues, having legal representation can also help parents promote their child’s best interests.