When parents consider divorce, they frequently think about the effect that splitting up the home can have on the children. Some parents are so concerned that they remain in an unhappy or abusive marriage for the sake of the children rather than pursuing a divorce.
Divorce is indeed painful for children. Their secure world is being shaken to the core. Is staying together with the best solution for the children? It is a fact that they will be initially devasted. However, remaining in a home filled with tension and hostility can be very damaging. In the long run, separation and putting an end to the daily arguments and anxiety will benefit the children more than forced togetherness.
When things are bad at home, once the children have adjusted to the idea, divorce can be a breath of fresh air. The parents should do everything to salvage the relationship. If that is not possible, divorce is best for all parties. It is up to Mom and Dad to make the transition as painless as position.
Children of Divorce
Studies show that children of divorce do experience problems. Some may go through denial, anger, fear, anxiety, and sometimes show signs of aggressive or regressive behavior.
Such temporary behavior is natural. However, children are resilient. If parents work as a team, the children can adapt fairly quickly to living in two homes with separate routines. Parents should make every effort to help the children feel loved, safe, and secure in both homes. They should refrain from bad-mouthing the other parent and set reasonable standards of behavior in both homes. When routine problems arise with the children, parents should be cooperative instead of competitive.
When Parents Remain Together
When parents no longer enjoy a relationship but remain together for the children, the tension can settle over the home like a fog. And children are smart enough to recognize that something is amiss. Mom and Dad rarely speak to each other. They no longer laugh together. Discussions over dinner tend to be strained and involve only the children. They do many things, including vacationing, separately. There are long periods of bitter silence or angry disagreements.
Still, such parents may remain under one roof for the sake of the children. In many cases, they mean well. They fear losing the children more than they fear losing each other.
Studies continue to show that children are better off with two sets of parents. But when there is constant friction, the environment becomes uncomfortable and will escalate to the point of being emotionally harmful. This is not the parents’ intention, but it can be the result. That’s why effective co-parenting is essential for a child’s development.
Be Honest About The Relationship
Parents who stay together for their children surely love them but are in denial about the real problem, which is that everyone is unhappy. Two parents who are separated and contented are a large improvement over two parents living miserably under one roof. If there is no chance of saving the marriage, staying together may well hurt the children more than benefit them.
What Matters Most To Children
Of course, in an ideal world, parents would be happy and together and create a stress-free home for their children. However, even children know that our world is not always ideal. The closest we can come to a family ideal is to ensure parents treat each other with respect and make their children a priority. Whether the parents are married or divorced, conflict is bad for children. When children are subjected to constant conflict, they tend to be more aggressive, or, conversely, shier. And they develop difficulties with social and academic competence.
In addition, when parents feel anger toward each other, that anger can easily spread to the children. Parents may become harsher and more irritable. Again, this is not good for the children.
Once unhappy couples have done everything possible to save the marriage, divorce will likely be the best option. When children are involved, the parents should talk to them as a unit and address their concerns. They will want to know where they will live, whether they have to change school and lose their friends, and about other disruptions in their lives.
Children want to feel secure. Provide them with the necessary details and allow them to express their anxiety and unhappiness freely. Assure them that both parents will always be there for them and love them unconditionally.
In the great majority of instances, two loving homes are better for your children than one unhappy home.
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