As a parent in the middle of a divorce, you probably think about how the split will affect your children. From the moment you break the news to your kids, you will see the effect of the news. Children may deny that it is happening, they may become upset or depressed.
When parents understand the psychological impact that divorce has on their children, they are more capable of helping their children cope, explains the California Cognitive Behavioral Institute.
How conflict impacts children
Children’s reactions to divorce depends on the relationship that he or she has with the parents, the conflict between parents before the divorce and the attention they receive following the divorce. Most children will struggle with divorce. Boys may act out more at school, they may fight more often, whereas girls may become depressed and develop physical symptoms. There are always exceptions to the rule, but boys tend to show external frustration and upset with the divorce whereas girls tend to internalize their pain more. Suffering after a divorce, however, does not have to be the expectation.
How to pave the road for healing
Children who do not maintain a strong relationship with their parents may have difficulty with relationships in the future. They may struggle to understand healthy or balanced relationships. Children learn how to handle relationships through how they see their parents interact. If you remain communicative and civil with your former spouse, then your children will more likely have a strong foundation for the future. Couples who still have conflict are more likely to pull away from their children because of the conflict.