Thousands of kids experience the stress of divorce each year. It is known that every divorce will affect the kids involved. Their reactions are unpredictable, often depending on their age, personality, and the circumstances, though many times the initial reactions are shock, sadness, frustration, anger, and worry. With help, kids can also come out of a divorce experience better able to cope with stress. Many kids who overcome divorce become more flexible, tolerant young adults.
Here is a video about divorce made for children from SesameWorks.
Help kids in important ways during this difficult time:
Keep visible conflict, heated discussions, and legal talk away from kids.
Minimize disruptions to daily routines.
Confine negativity and blame to private therapy sessions or conversations outside the home.
Keep each parent involved in the kids' lives.
Help kids put their feelings into words.
Keep everyone physically healthy.
Get help and support.
Adults going through separation and divorce need support, too, from friends, professionals, clergy, and family. This is typical and expected. Adults must work to avoid seeking support from your kids, even if your children seem like they genuinely want to support you and talk with you.
When a family goes through divorce or separation, it can be difficult to adjust to the changes. Parents Forever offers, through the University of Minnesota, courses and educational resources teach parents about the impact of family transition and offer strategies that help both parents and children adjust to their new life.
Research-based resources are available to help you and your family with questions about divorce, separation, and many other difficult topics.