Lessening the emotional impact of divorce on children

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It is no secret to Texas readers that the end of a marriage is often hardest on the youngest members of the family. Parents often cite the well-being of their children as their number one concern during divorce, but they may not have a full understanding of how this life event takes a toll on their kids. When parents divorce, it will have an impact on children that may manifest in many ways.

Children react to the news of their parents’ divorce by displaying certain behaviors, showing signs of anxiety or simply shutting themselves off from what is happening around them. These are all normal ways that kids react, depending on their age and maturity level. While the impact is real, parents may be encouraged to know that there are things that they can do to minimize the negative toll that a divorce can take.

One of the best ways to minimize negativity is by allowing regular visitation with the non-custodial parent, even during separation. Children do best when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents, and parents should strive to never speak negatively of the child’s other parent when around the kids. This may be difficult, but a practical visitation schedule and custody order can provide stability and security, thus protecting kids from undue emotional harm.

Parents should dialogue with the kids, allowing them to ask questions, express concerns and understand the major life changes that they will face. Children should never be made to feel responsible for a divorce, and parents will find it beneficial to be open and sensitive to their child’s emotional needs. It requires a concerted effort, but a Texas parent can protect the emotional health of their child during this trying time.

Source: cpancf.com, “Effects of Divorce on Children“, Lesley Foulkes-Jamison, Aug. 14, 2016

Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. 12000 Huebner Rd #200 San Antonio, TX 78230 Telephone: (210) 349-9933 Fax: (210) 349-9988
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