Experiencing their parents' divorce can be extremely traumatic for children as they feel the ground has given way beneath their feet. The two people who form the centre of their existence going apart can shake the foundation of their lives. With a shaky foundation, to build a strong future is no easy task and the cracks will always show. Negative impacts at an early age manifest themselves in different ways.
You could meet an adult whose parents divorced when he was a child and he might seem perfectly normal. However, ask the people who have established relationships with him and one gets an idea of how the scars have remained. Some children handle their parents' divorcing better than others but the scars remain. Having parents' divorce means adjusting to a whole new way of life and everything you grew up believing come undone. It can also be a very scary experience for children if prior to the divorce the atmosphere is unpleasant and fraught with fights between the two people they love.
<b> The Wounds of Divorce </b>
The way a couple handle their separation goes a long way in determining how divorce affects their children. When couples have an acrimonious divorce where they are out to hurt each other as much as possible, the children are scarred forever. If a couple is bitter and involve the kids in their bitterness and talk badly of the other to the children, the bitterness remains with the children long after their parents have moved on. Watching infidelities come out in the open, lack of respect and mudslinging can form strange impressions on children and determines their future interactions with people.
Children who grow up witnessing infidelity by one or both of their parents are more prone to being unfaithful in their relationships as adults. Children whose parents have divorced are more likely to divorce than children who come from a stable and tight knit family.
An unstable family set up, can make children feel uprooted and insecure and this feeling of insecurity remains with them and as adults leaves them less than confident. This lack of confidence not only affects their personal relationships but also their careers.
Sometimes, children can become withdrawn and untrusting and even as adults find it hard to open up and trust other individuals. They could become loners or hardened as people and a deep cynicism can set in.
In extreme cases children end up hating one or both their parents and this internal anger manifests in different forms and could result in violent behaviour and addictions. Since the world they knew has fallen apart they can become rebellious and not really care about what the world at large thinks. Children from broken homes often fight internal battles to help remain grounded and feel secure and if they lose the battle, they become depressed and unhappy.
<b> Remaining Grounded </b>
However angry or bitter a couple are during the time of a divorce it has to be their single priority to ensure the children are as affected as little as possible. If parents can keep their acrimony private and not let their children witness it that would make a huge difference. A couple should sit their children down and talk to them and make them understand that even if they live apart their combined priority is the children. A couple should make sure that the children know that even if their love for each other no longer remains their love for the children remains unaffected.
Sometimes, children blame themselves for their parents separating and this is another thing that parents should guard against and let children know that they played no role in things going wrong. What could further help a child handle the situation is if parents speak well of the other so they see a mutual respect there. When children are drawn into battle then their loyalties get torn, their emotions confused and they feel battered and unsure at the end of the ordeal.
The bottom line is that whatever the differences may be between man and wife, they are responsible for their children's future and should do everything in their capacity to protect them. Divorce may perhaps be unavoidable but children being drawn into the ugliness of it have to be avoided to the maximum possible extent.
Publish this article: Children and Divorce