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Divorce and Kids

Posted on in Divorce

The effects of divorce on children have been studied and discussed for almost as long as divorce has been a common part of the American psyche. According to Judith Wallerstein, as reported in the Huffington Post, "divorce affects children profoundly at every age, from infancy to adulthood," and the stage at which the child is at in his life will determine his reaction to the parents’ split. As a young child, the divorcee-kid will worry that he will be replaced by one parent’s new family. According to the Huffington Post, "during adolescence they say, ‘You can hope for love but you can’t expect it.’ And when they reach young adulthood, they fear betrayal and decide no to fall in love or marry because, ‘if you don’t marry then you can’t divorce.’"

These sociological trends in children of divorced parents aren’t rocket science, but they’re important to keep in mind if you’re going through a divorce and have children. And divorce may have a deeper effect on your child than his attitude toward love and marriage: a 2011 study published by the American Sociological Review and analyzed by WebMD.com, found that "children of divorce tend to fall behind in their math and social skills and may not catch up with their peers." On the other hand, "divorce did not seem to affect the children’s reading scores or ‘externalizing’ behaviors, including how often they argue, fight, or become angry."

One way of helping children to cope with divorce is to treat them as an equal party in the proceedings, so to speak. Speaking candidly with your child, and not painting a rosy picture where it’s not could be best for the child’s psychological development. Social worker Robin Friedman told WebMD.com that "a separation may be in the best interest for the child in the long run," but presenting a united front to the child, and agreeing to answer the difficult questions in an age-appropriate manner, is crucial to helping the child deal with the trauma of a parent’s divorce.

Having a qualified divorce lawyer in Arlington Heights to guide you through the divorce process eases the stress of divorce, and saves you time to devote to more important matters than paperwork concerning the implications of a failed marriage. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois family practice attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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