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How Divorce Affects Kids and Their Development

How Divorce Affects Kids and Their Development

Children of any age may suffer from problems when their parents choose to get a divorce. The interactions parents have with each other and their kids while the divorce is happening could affect their children's capacity to cope with the stresses of life significantly. Sons and daughters are "kids" of divorce—no matter what age.

The response a kid has to a divorce varies based on the age of the child. Problems can come up right when the divorce is learned about or even later down the road. You want to understand the following problems to best help your kids through this process as a parent:

Toddlers, Infants, and Preschool Children

Kids who are young require constant communication with both parents. When you're a parent to a small child, try to spend as much time with your kids as possible to avoid a separation that's longer than necessary.

Young kids that are separated from their parents may create anxiety symptoms that impact how they adjust to relationship changes during their lives.

Children Under 12

Kids aged 6-12 might not think that divorce is something that is actually permanent. It's normal for children who are school-aged to use wishful thinking when it comes to parents and their reconnection. Children in this age range might feel as though they are the reason the divorce happened.

Kids may then go on to feel high levels of stress because of this judgment and the fact that they can't do anything about the situation. They might act out, regress or withdraw in the classroom or at home. It's crucial that your child understands that the divorce didn't have anything to do with him or her. It's also vital that your child has a safe area to share any worries, sadness or fears.

Don't Put Too Much Pressure on Your Children

The parents who choose the right things to say and do during a divorce will significantly lower the stress their kids go through because of it. Try to show a spirit of cooperation as much as possible with the other caretaker to give your kids the signal that both of you will still work together to raise them.

Even though you had a divorce, you will always share your children and your unconditional love for them with your co-parent. Do the best you can to facilitate the relationship your kids have with your co-parent, including working together to parent your children in separate households. This is something your children will thank you for when they grow up.

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