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Posted on in Divorce

Lombard, IL divorce lawyers

Whether you call it empty nest syndrome or a mid-life crisis, many couples struggle when their children leave home and they go back to their previous “empty house” lifestyle. This life change can be a tough adjustment since a parent has gotten used to having their child living under their roof for 18+ years. Spouses are used to focusing on their child’s schedule and activities. This can make an empty house feel lonely and uncomfortable, sometimes so much so that divorce enters the equation. 

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

Although it is not technically diagnosed, the commonality of empty nest syndrome illustrates its wide-reaching effect. Feeling a strong sense of sadness and loneliness after your children have moved out is the telltale sign of empty nest syndrome. Other symptoms include a lack of identity, extreme remorse, and a lack of self-worth. This lifestyle change can lead to clinical depression and apathy toward your spouse. Many feel as if they no longer have anything in common with their spouse since they have shared their child and the duties of parenting for the past decade. Although this can create a distance between spouses, there are various coping mechanisms for those who feel their emotions may be causing conflict.

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DuPage County law firm

Some parents are forced to have a relationship with their child from hundreds of miles away. This is common for military members, individuals who travel often for work, separated couples, and those going through the divorce process. No matter the circumstances, trying to care for a child with a long distance between you is not easy. The transition is usually the most difficult part, especially if this is a recent lifestyle change. You start to miss the little moments and sometimes the big ones, too. Gone are the days of dropping your child off at school each morning and putting them to bed at night, and while you try not to miss the big events, life sometimes gets in the way. 

Here are a few tips about how to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship when many miles separate you.

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Lombard family law attorneysA divorce, as most people realize, can be extremely stressful for everyone involved. Children commonly have the most difficulty adjusting to all of the changes. Unfortunately, the effects of a divorce may be felt by your child for many years after the process has been completed. There are several ways—including some things you can do right now—to help your child cope with the end of your marriage.

Listen to Their Problems and Worries

Children, just like adults, feel loved and cared for when they know you are listening to them. This is more than just hearing what they have to say. Listening requires you to both be active in showing you understand what they are worried about while withholding any judgments or solutions until after the child is done sharing. Even then, it important to allow your children the freedom to experience their feelings. Attempting to control your child’s emotions or shaming him or her for feeling a certain way is not healthy and can lead to larger problems down the road.

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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. 

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