No matter what age, divorce is often a substantial change in a child’s life. Studies have shown that children whose parents are divorced don’t do as well in school and are less likely to go to college, 25% more likely to use and abuse alcohol and drugs by age 14, and are twice as likely to get divorced themselves.
Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid these outcomes. However, preventing these risks from occurring takes a significant amount of maturity from both parents.
It is important to understand that kids draw their strength from various sources, but most of all from their parents and family unit. With this in mind, parents should be aware of how they act and behave in front of their children to avoid the traumatic consequences of divorce.
The following are ways to protect your child from the adverse effects of divorce:
- Reaffirm with your ex-spouse that your kid’s emotional well-being is a mutual priority. While divorce means the end of a marriage, it doesn’t mean your responsibility of being a parent is over as well. Every time you get upset with your ex, always think of your children and how your actions can affect their lives.
- Understand that it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to remain involved in the kid’s life. Proving that you and your spouse can work together after divorce can increase your chances that your child will grow up emotionally stable. Remember, what is damaging for your kid is the feeling of being abandoned by the other parent.
- Do not fight with your ex in front of the children. Furthermore, do not bad mouth your ex behind his or her back in front of the kids. Building a negative picture of the other parent can have a negative impact on the child’s relationship with your ex.
- Allow you kids to express their feelings about divorce and be there to listen. Let your child cry, vent, or get angry. They are entitled to their emotions since it wasn’t their decision to break up the family unit. If they have any questions about the divorce, encourage them to ask and always be there whenever they need to talk.
- Always take the high road. If one parent acts irresponsibly, the other may be tempted to follow suit. However, the temptation should be resisted. Showing your child who is the mature one in the relationship can make you appear more reliable and level headed.