What do your children really feel about your divorce?
Divorce, when you are in the middle of it, may seem very much like a hurricane, with torrential “rain” clouding your judgment and 100-mph winds buffeting your emotions. With so many disturbing aspects to a divorce, many individuals are unable to clearly think about much beyond their own self-preservation.
However, if you are a parent, you owe a duty to your children to behave as an adult and look out for their interests. A recent survey from the U.K. has found that parents often fail recognize the impact their divorce will have on their children.
The survey questioned both parents and children involved in a divorce. It found a strong disparity between parents and many children’s views on the divorce process. While 77 percent of parents felt their children were fine with the divorce, approximately 30 percent the children described their feelings as “devastated.”
Twenty percent of the children said there was no point in speaking with their parents about the divorce, because they were too “warped up in themselves.” And this can have negative implications for the children, as they turn to destructive behavior, like drinking, self-harm, or in 6 percent of those surveyed, suicide.
While you can divorce your spouse, you never divorce your children. During a divorce, you need to work overtime with your children, to ensure they understand what is happening it is not their fault.
Active communication can also enable them to become comfortable discussing their anger and fear regarding the divorce. It may not be pretty or fun, but it is essential to listen to them, and help regain the trust that may otherwise be damaged by the divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Survey Says Parents Are Unaware Of Divorce’s Impact On Kids,” December 30, 2013