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Mustering up the strength to tell your spouse you want a divorce may be among the most challenging things you may do in your life unless your marriage has gotten to a bad place.
The toll a divorce can have on the two spouses is heavy enough, but what it does to the children can be catastrophic. One day, their lives were normal, and the next day everything flips over.
If you’re reading this before telling your kids about your decision, it may better equip you to handle that conversation at the end of this article.
Let’s talk about telling your kids and then move on to how your divorce can affect your children.Divorce is hard for children of all ages. Keep these tips in mind when breaking the news to your kids!Click To Tweet
Breaking the Divorce News to the Kids
You may have watched how people do it in movies or TV shows and may have even asked some divorcees, you know, but that might not be enough.
Before you tell your kids anything or make any promises, talk with your divorce attorney. They can give you an idea of the possible outcome of child custody negotiations.
With that idea in mind, you can tell your kids about it. However, it may be better not to use the word “divorce” because children can take it very negatively.
Furthermore, it would be best if you tried to ease into the separation. Try not to make any immediate changes and make things easier for your kids if possible.
Emotional Impact of Divorce
While the divorce may be overwhelming for you and your spouse, the children seem to take it harder than everyone else.
If your kids are young, they may struggle to understand the whole situation. For your young kids, you and your spouse are their worlds.
Also, those little souls may think it’s their fault, and you and your spouse may one day stop loving them as well. Among teens, the reaction to divorce can significantly vary.
Some can get angry about your decision and start blaming and resenting either you or your spouse or both. Some teenagers help either one or both parents through the process. While it’s generally the extremes, your child can land somewhere in the middle.
However, some kids are happy that their parents are separating if it means no more constant fights in the house and a more peaceful environment.
Mental Health Issues of Divorce
No matter the age, culture, or gender, it’s a well-known fact that many children of divorced parents suffer from mental health problems.
For many, divorce will cause then depression and anxiety for a few months. Then, things start to get normal. But for other children, it can go on for years or their entire lifetimes.
Many children have:
- Behavioral issues
- Academic performance troubles
- Higher risk-taking behaviors
- The tendency to not get into serious relationships
- The tendency to avoid strong bonds with others
These are just a few things, mainly in the children whose parents either didn’t help them get through the divorce well enough or didn’t know how to get them through it.
Therefore, you must try to do everything you can to help your kids adjust before, during, and after the divorce proceedings.
Do you have any experience with divorce?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.