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How Does Divorce Really Affect Children?

Posted on in Divorce

Lombard divorce lawyersDivorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. In fact, according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, it is the second most stressful live event a person can endure. Divorce and marital separation are higher on the list of stressful events than imprisonment, death of a family member, pregnancy, and getting fired from a job. Many parents considering or currently going through a divorce will understandably worry how this stress will affect the smallest members of their household. 

Children Are Surprisingly Resilient

Approximately, 1.5 million children are faced with this life change every year in the United States. The initial emotional fallout of parental separation may leave children feeling sad, angry, and anxious. They may experience difficulties at school or exhibit behavior changes. However, research from the University of Virginia suggests these negative responses to divorce do not last forever in children. Although children are understandably shaken by their parents’ separation at first, the negative feelings and behaviors are usually gone by after two years.  In further research from Penn State University, children were followed after enduring their parents’ divorce for several years. The children, overall, did not show long-term diminishment in their academic success, emotional health, relationships and self-esteem. 

Splitting Up Might Be a Relief to Your Children

Even more interesting, in some circumstances, some children do better after a divorce than before. Studies show that children who grew up in households where there was a high level of martial conflict are often relieved when they hear their parents will split up. Children not only are negatively affected by overt displays of conflict like fighting and yelling, but also by more subtle conflict like “silent treatments” or a tense atmosphere.

After a divorce, children may live in a more peaceful environment and see their parents’ happiness increase. They may have more opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time with parents.  Their self-esteem and overall contentment may be increased. It is important to remember that parents have to work hard to maintain a peaceful home after a divorce.  Newly-divorced parents should be careful not to talk negatively about the other parent in front of the child or put the child into an inappropriate mediator position. Parents who foster a loving, warm, and accepting atmosphere at home can help children adjust to their new lives. 

Find the Happiness You Deserve

If you are considering a divorce, you need an advocate who can help you find the best solution for you and your family. Contact an experienced family law attorney in Lombard to get the help you need at a difficult time. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.

 

Sources:

http://www.stress.org/holmes-rahe-stress-inventory/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/


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