In the US, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Depending on the relationship between the spouses, the divorce can end either amicably or can be drawn out and traumatic. This trauma can live on and affect the children of the marriage for many years. This does not mean that unhappy spouses should stay married. It does mean that they need to handle the divorce in a way that has minimal long-term consequences.
What Are the Difficulties a Couple Faces When Deciding to Divorce, What Are the Effects on the Children?
Deciding to divorce is a big decision. Parents often wonder if there is a perfect time to make a move. Some difficulties parents face are:
- Short term effects on children
- Long term effects on children
- The reaction of extended families
- Financial Implications
Typically, children under five years of age more resilient, going through a divorce than a 16-year-old. Teenagers grow accustomed to their family dynamic, making it challenging to transition from mom and dad living together to now living in a single-parent household. A 5-year-old is still getting used to their world so they can make the adjustment with less difficulty. Interestingly, adult children of divorce are also affected. They tend to be caught in the middle, which can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety.
No matter the age, there are many lasting effects of divorce on children. Some of the effects include:
- Mental health issues
- Behavioral problems
- Substance abuses
- Relief and improved happiness (it’s not all bad! Sometimes separation is better for everyone)
Parents may also be concerned about any prejudices against their children because of the divorce. Today, families come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are many different types of families. It is normal for a family to be anything but usual.
Statistics of the Effect of Divorce on Children
One of the most noticeable effects on children is how they navigate their future relationships. These are a few statistics that may help you better understand the effects your divorce may have.
- Children of divorce are 60% more likely to end their own marriage in divorce
- If the child’s parents remarry, their own marriages are 91% more likely to end in divorce
Children of divorce are 50% more likely to marry other children of divorce
Tips on How to Approach Your Child to Start a Dialogue
After you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you must have that conversation with your kids. Before having the talk, considering having a plan in place for how to tell them. Here are a few useful parenting tips for a successful conversation:
- Sit down with your kids together
- Tell the whole family together then talk to each child separately
- Be open to questions
- Do not blame each other (no matter how angry you maybe)
- Keep it simple, they don’t need all the messy details
How Can Online Therapy Help?
Parents who seek the help of a mental health professional can actually benefit from it. It can make a massive difference for divorcing or divorced families. Traditional counseling can be cost-prohibitive, especially considering how much a divorce cost. Online counseling for families is a more cost-effective method. Additionally, it is easier to schedule and participate in sessions since they can be done from home.
Counseling can be an intimidating prospect for children. Completing sessions online can be an excellent way to help them feel comfortable. Kids spend a lot of time online. They may be more at ease online than in person.
Sometimes it is best to look to outside resources for help when navigating a significant life change. Since divorce is quite common, there are many established resources to provide you with guidance. The following resources may be of use for families going through divorce or separation.
- Online counseling for kids and teenagers
- Books about divorce
- Talk to other divorced families
- Join a support group
- Visit websites about parenting and divorce
When children have experienced divorce, the world as they know it turns upside down. While it may be a struggle and difficult at first, the effects of divorce do not have to be long-lasting. Make it a successful transition, show your children love and support, and enlist professional help when needed.