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How can you lessen the impact of divorce on your child?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2019 | child custody, family law |

When Michigan couples decide to divorce, it affects not only the spouses but also their children.

The psychological impact of divorce on children is a well-studied phenomenon. It may help to understand what your children could go through and how you can minimize the negative effects.

What is the psychological impact of divorce?

No matter how old children are, they will face some sort of mental repercussion due to the divorce. Some children may develop anxiety or depression. Children who already have these disorders may find themselves struggling even more with the symptoms, experiencing new symptoms or suffering from new ones. In very severe cases, a child may even develop symptoms similar to those found in post-traumatic stress disorder.

Children often blame themselves for the divorce and find fault in themselves in an attempt to rationalize what happened. This guilt can manifest in many different ways. While some children may become reclusive, others may become angry and lash out or develop other behavioral issues.

How can you help your child?

Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your children get through the divorce as smoothly as possible. Ensure that your children understand you love them no matter what, and that the divorce was not their fault. Make sure to tell them this immediately and emphasize it all throughout the divorce process. You can truly never tell them these things enough.

It is also important to monitor your children’s behavior. Are they becoming more aggressive, or do they seem withdrawn and unusually quiet? Are they becoming obstinate toward authority figures? If you are noticing these types of symptoms, you may need to see about finding them professional help, such as having them visit with a therapist.

If you stay focused on your children throughout the divorce, you may be able to catch issues before they have time to develop into lasting mental health problems.