The Impact of Divorce on Children
Children are often a central point of conflict in a divorce, and ironically, parents are typically concerned about how the conflict will impact their children. Conflict is inevitable when people separate, but it is important to avoid a cycle of conflict.
While you may try your hardest to hide arguments and disagreements from your children, it is likely that your children are more perceptive than you may think. Kids pick up on tense conversations and subtle disagreements, and so it is important for parents to extricate themselves from a vortex of anger and disappointment for the sake of their children. Studies show couples who cooperate produce children who generally feel less stressed and more at peace with a less cohesive family unit.
Another important factor to consider is the long-term developmental effects of divorce on children. It is likely your children will experience a time of emotional turmoil at least once as a result of the drastic changes in family life. Studies suggest younger children may adjust better to their parents’ divorce because they will grow up with separated parents and will thus accept the atypical environment as normal.
Older children may have a more difficult time adjusting to a divorce. As teenagers transition into an identification process, they start to navigate through romantic relationships for the first time. If they experience this process at the same time as their parents begin the process of separating, it may disrupt the process of assessing how they should establish relationships. It should be noted, however, that everyone copes with divorce differently, and children may react in a multitude of ways to their parents’ split.
I would recommend individual counseling no matter the situation as I understand how stressful it is to go through a divorce. In many ways, a divorce is similar to a death in the family. Children lose a family. You lose a partner and a home. The impact of a divorce is widespread and so it is important to confide in someone when anger, sadness and disappointment become overwhelming. Sometimes talking it out is the best solution.
If you have any questions or concerns about Mediation, or would like to
schedule a complimentary mediation consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me today!
Leyla Balakhane is a Family Law Mediator in the Los Angeles area
and can be reached at 424.235.4173