You have probably witnessed many friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers stay in toxic marriages for the sake of their children. After all, studies have shown that the effects of divorce tend to stick with children through adulthood. Many have unresolved anger issues toward their parents. Some are unable to have normal relationships because of what they experienced in their childhood.
Is divorce really all that bad for children? The answer is not clear-cut. In short, it depends. It depends on how the parents deal with the divorce. Divorce can be amicable or it can be downright nasty. Some parents focus on being the best parent ever and helping their kids as much as possible through the transition, while others spend all their time and energy on getting revenge on the other partner.
This begs the question: Is it better for kids to stay in a bad marriage or should the parents call it quits and divorce? Experts say that a good divorce is better for kids than a bad marriage. If you choose to stay married to your partner despite a lack of happiness, you are raising your children in an angry, resentful, and possibly even violent household. You are teaching your children that it is acceptable for partners to be disrespectful to each other. You are allowing emotional and possibly even physical abuse to happen in front of them. You are teaching them that nobody deserves to be happy, and that stress and misery are to be expected in a relationship.
It is no wonder that children have trouble coping. Some are unable to form healthy relationships once they reach adulthood because they were forced to grow up in an angry household. Some children even wish their parents would divorce so they could be happy for once. Kids are not stupid. While no divorce is without its challenges, children often come to realize that divorce is for the best.
The stress of parents constantly fighting takes it toll on children. Kids are insecure in many ways and when they constantly see their parents fighting, it makes them worry. What will happen to the family? Do my parents love me? Am I to blame? Fighting also affects the relationship between the parent and child. When a parent is stressed out, he or she might distance him or herself from the children. This could lead to a lack of affection, causing kids to feel even more insecure.
Constant fighting between parents can lead to emotional damage in children. Children can develop anxiety and depression. They may start to have behavioral problems and act out in school. Also, children learn what they see, so if they notice that their parents call each other names and yell and scream, they are likely to engage in the same unhealthy fighting techniques.
That is not to say that children will experience no effects from their parents divorcing. When parents split up, everything changes. Sometimes children get to stay in the family home. In other cases, they are forced to move. They may end up spending most of their time with one parent, while seeing the other parent on weekends. They may be shuffled from one house to another, which can be stressful. Children thrive on routine, and life after divorce can be anything but normal.
What Parents can Do
There are many factors that can determine how well a child will do after divorce, but parents play a huge role. Both parties still have to co-parent after the divorce is finalized, and this is where things get complicated. There are likely to be ill feelings toward each other. The parents continue to fight with each other or they fail to communicate altogether. Many parents put their children in the middle of the conflict and this can have devastating consequences. Children often feel as though they are left to fend for themselves.
Parents can help children transition from a married family to a divorced family through emotional support and by being a good influence. Children are often more affected by a divorce than the parents, so it is a parent’s job to ease this emotional pain and help them along. Parents should monitor their children and look for any behavioral problems and other changes.
Some children are naturally easygoing and better able to cope with change. This type of personality will help them as they get older. Life changes and things will not always go their way. Divorce is just one of those things over which children have no control. While it can be difficult, most children are resilient and will bounce back eventually. Those who are struggling may need a little extra help, and this is where the parents come in.
Seek Legal Help
Some children fare well after divorce, while others experience negative effects that last the rest of their lives. Parents play a huge role in this. When parents can minimize conflict and stress and put effort into raising their children, children tend to rebound quickly.
If you are seeking a drama-free divorce that will reduce the effects on your children, Palm Beach divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help. He offers many options to help you meet your divorce goals. You may be able to resolve your issues with mediation or some other option without a messy court trial that can have damaging effects on your children. Contact his office at (954) 346-6464 to schedule a consultation today.