Just as divorce is not easy for adults, divorce can be equally difficult for children. Parents in Florida who are going through a divorce should make sure they understand how their split may affect their child both in the short-term and long-term. They also need to understand that children of different ages experience divorce differently.
How your child may react in the first year
The first year after your divorce can impact your child in a variety of ways. Initially children may feel distressed, angry, anxious or they may be in a stage of disbelief. Fortunately, there are ways parents can help their child cope with the immediate aftermath of the divorce. Parents should make sure they have consistent daily routines for their child to follow at both their houses. This stability can help a child adjust to the “new normal” of having divorced parents.
Divorce can impact children of different ages in different ways
Most parents understand that the needs of an infant or toddler are very different than the needs of a teenager. Children of different ages will experience divorce differently. Young children may not understand why their parents no longer live together. They may also fear that their parents will stop loving them because their parents fell out of love with one another.
Grade school age children may feel like it is their fault that their parents divorced. They may have the idea that their past misbehavior or wrong doings prompted their parents to divorce.
Teenagers may experience a lot of anger when their parents divorce specifically with regards to the way the divorce changes their lives. They may blame a specific parent for the divorce, or they may resent one or both parents for the major changes divorce imposed on their family.
How to help your child cope with divorce
There are ways you can help your child thrive post-divorce. First, keep the drama out of co-parenting. Respect your ex’s time with your child and encourage your child to have a relationship with them. Do not badmouth your ex in front of your child or try to get your child to choose sides. Keep routines and rules consistent between households and ensure your child feels safe at both homes. Doing so can help alleviate the stress your child feels post-divorce and can allow them to grow and thrive into healthy adults.