Parents in Florida who are struggling in their marriage may have concerns about how a divorce will affect the children. The truth is that divorce does have a big impact on young ones, but there are things both mom and dad can do to ease the transition and minimize long-term effects.
According to Parents.com, the impact divorce has varies based on the age of the child. Infants are not aware of exactly what is going on, but they can sense tension. Over time, this may cause them to be clingy, irritable and be more emotional. For toddlers, the break in the home bond can lead to delayed potty training, behavior regression, increased need for attention, difficulty sleeping and feelings of abandonment. They may also think the breakup is their fault.
Preschool-aged children like to have control, and a divorce takes away their power. Some effects may include anger, nightmares and disagreeable thoughts. Children aged 5 to 8 may have abandonment issues and may try to keep mom and dad together. Children aged 9 to 11 may have accusations toward one or both parents. They may be angry, depressed, withdrawn or anxious. They may also have stress-induced health issues such as headaches and stomachaches.
Very Well Family offers advice to parents to help children deal with divorce and adjust healthily. Focusing on co-parenting, and keeping conflict out of it, is important. Even though the child will be spending less time with one or both parents, it is still possible to have a good relationship. Children adjust better when each parent treats them warmly and communicates positively with them. Parents should also make children feel secure and teach them coping skills.
Divorce does increase the chances of poor academic performance, risky behaviors and delinquency. Parents should keep a close eye on the kids, especially teenagers, and take action if something seems wrong. Each parent should also use effective and consistent discipline.