Divorce and Children
What effects does Utah divorce have on children?
Approximately one half of all American children must cope with divorce in their lives. A lot of evidence shows that children from divorced families do not fare as well emotionally, socially and academically. In 1989, Kent University found that children of divorce were more likely to repeat a grade. It was brought to light that they also did not perform as well on standardized English and math tests. In a more recently published book and study, Maggie Gallagher, studied adult children of divorce. She learned that adult children of divorce are three times more likely to disagree with the statement “I generally felt physically safe” as a child. One-third of children of divorce strongly agreed with the statement that “Children were at the center of my family” compared to 63 percent of children whose parents stayed married.
The study by Gallagher also raised to light that children of divorce are three times more likely to be expelled from school or become pregnant in their teens. The statistic showed that these children are five times as apt to live in poverty. A 2002 study by Sun and Li showed that divorce has a serious negative impact on the psychological well being of children and that these negative effects could not be attributed to the pre-divorce conditions within the family. Sadly, suicide rates for children of divorce are much higher and this is attributed to the family instability, disruption and perceived rejection.
Childhood concerns formed during divorce can last into adulthood.
Family dynamics shape a child’s identity well into adulthood. With a family being a complex adaptive system, it is critical to understand the impact that this dysfunction has on a child’s life. Divorce may free adults to make choices but it does at the expense of forcing children to grow up too soon. Even so called “good” divorces cause harm and stress to a child. Tremendous energy needs to focused and expended to try to offset and decrease this impact.
Children’s pains from divorce affect parents.
Another aspect that needs to be examined is the subsequent guilt that a parent feels from having their child go through this process. Many of these parents are then known to overindulgence a child’s will. This phenomena needs to be kept in check and balance to try not to a child in an attempt to compensate for what they feel they have inflicted on the child and to assuage their own guilt.
Making Divorce Easier on the Children
Some things parents do make it harder.
The parental alienator is a parent that attempts to alienate a child from the other parent. This behavior is caused by malignant self love, unadulterated arrogance and stems from intolerance, denigration, prejudice and deep-seated dysfunction. (Summers, 2006) This narcissistic cruel abuse is very deceptive and needs to be documented. The American Journal of Family Therapy (2006) states that the parental alienator lies, manipulates, speaks in mixed messages and can often never abandon their illusions of the other parent.
The thought process when going through a divorce becomes basically instinctive and going into a self-preservation mode. They even develop a feeling of persecution and borderline paranoia. One becomes so subjective that they no longer think objectively because it is so fiercely personal and the pressures of divorce and custody drive them to the bitter edge. It is critically important to slow down to objectively and consciously react to make decisions when going through a divorce.
How can you make it easier for children?
To ensure your children have the best experience through the divorce, parents should be alert to distress signs their children might be expressing. This can be difficult but necessary for parents to know how to interact and help their children. Parents should make sure their kids know that both parents will be involved and love the children. Avoiding long custody disputes is essential for ensure young children are not harmed through a divorce. Avoid putting pressure on your children to choose sides, as that will alienate children from one of their parents. Parents should cooperate and minimize conflict for the children to have the best experience.
Do’s and Don’ts with Divorce and Children
Here are some tips that might help you with your children during a divorce:
- Avoid making your problems your children’s problems.
- Don’t use your children as a therapist.
- They are not to be burdened with adult problems.
- Don’t use your children to exchange information between the two parents.
- Don’t allow the children to see you fight with your ex-spouse.
- Don’t put the children in the middle; they are innocent victims.
- Protect your children from overwhelming them with your anger and emotions.
- Show your children that you love them.
- Spend quality time with your children to build confidence in being a good parent to inevitably feel less threatened by the other partner and to help your children adapt to the new changes in their lives.
- Become confident in yourself and your parenting that you do not have to undermine your ex-partner to your children.
- Don’t criticize the other spouse in front of the children.
- Encourage your children to respect and love their other parent or new step-parent.
- This will reduce stress in their lives and help them to feel at ease.
- Even if this other parent messed up completely, they can still love them.
- Compliment the other parent to your children on fantastic gifts, excursions or help with homework.
- Have exchanges between you and the other parent reasonable with the children around so they do not feel nervous or fearful of embarrassment.
- Create predictability and a routine in your children’s lives – this includes your schedule and moods.
- Do not allow guilt to overindulge your children.
- Keep your emotions in check so you are not overreacting to your children’s behavior and doing something that would jeopardize your parenting position.
- Help your children through this difficult time. Help them understand their feelings, emotions and anger.
Trust the Attorneys at Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law PC
Why are we the right law firm to help you through divorce and children
Our law firm prides ourselves on being a family law firm. We have many years experience working with families facing divorce and we ensure that the children are a top priority through the divorce process. Everything we do is to ensure that the welfare and interests of the children are protected. We believe that if divorce is eminent, than the smother the process, the easier it will be for the children. Call us or fill out our form to the right today for more information about divorce and children!