D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Spelling out to your child what divorce means is difficult.
Statistics show that divorce is one of the most traumatic life events, for both adults and children.
We know that the children of divorce can experience high anxiety, distress and self-blame.
But it is important to remember that the effects of divorce do not necessarily have to be enormous or long-lasting.
How you frame the event of divorce to your child is vitally important…
- Make sure your child understands that they have not caused your divorce.
- Stabilise your child’s and your own life as soon as possible.
Research suggests the average length of time it takes to re-establish stability is two (2) years following separation.
- Provide your child with support and encouragement before and during the divorce.
- Distinguish your own emotions and wishes from that of your child.
- Recognise and appreciate the relationship your child shares with both parental figures.
- Be aware of diminished parenting
Despite most parents’ best intentions, the process of getting divorced will often be coupled with diminished parenting, in particular:
- Spending less time with your child;
- Having less patience with your child
- Greater irritability towards your child; and
- Less empathy for your children’s feelings.
- Do not believe the myth that the younger a child is, the less they will be impacted by divorce.
Younger children are dependent upon consistent parenting and care. The disruption of divorce is overwhelming for younger children and very difficult to explain.
- Recognise the disruption divorce and post-divorce conflict between parents can have on your child.
Witnessing or overhearing conflict between parents in a major factor in ongoing trauma experienced by children.
Every child is different, as is every parent and every experience of divorce.
We suggest you do not compare your situation to another’s and always act in the best interests of your child.
**This is general advice. We recommend seeking specialist advice as required.
If you do require any assistance regarding any aspect of your divorce, a member of our team would be happy to talk to you.
Please call our office on (08) 8410 9294.
Adelaide Legal, Expect More.
Article written by Ursula Stevens.