Of all of the parties affected by divorce, children are often hit the hardest by a parental split. They can internalize and hang on to the emotional pain of this process for many years to come. Thankfully, proactive parents can take steps to minimize their children’s discomfort. Here is a look at divorce from the child’s point of view:
This is All My Fault
When parents fight, children may feel guilty that the discord is somehow caused by their own conduct. As a result, kids often feel guilty when experiencing the emotional trauma of a divorce. This is particularly the case for boys and girls ages two though seven, who may experience high levels of egocentrism. Parents can ease these feelings by having consistent conversations about the real causes of the divorce so that children hear the same message from both sides.
My Parents No Longer Love Me
Another common way children internalize divorce is by interpreting the end of the marriage as a sign that they are not loved. It may seem that the parents split up because they did not care about the children and are not interested in raising them. Parents can combat this issue by spending one-on-one time with their children and reminding them that they are respected and cared for. The key may be to listen to your child, hear their concerns, and answer their questions honestly.
Maybe I Can Fix It
Children may think that since they were the cause of the divorce, that they can fix it by doing well in school or otherwise bringing their parents back together. Make it clear to your child that you and your former spouse have chosen to permanently end things, and ensure that this message is communicated consistently by both parents.
Are you a parent in Northern California who is thinking about divorce? With the help of an attorney, you can work to minimize the effects the split with have on your children while your divorce lawyer takes care of the paperwork. Dial (408) 266-9011 to reach the San Jose office of Moreno Family Law and begin the journey toward happiness.