(Mar. 6, 2023) — Staying with your partner for the sake of your children shouldn’t be an option, as it will create an unhealthy and unhappy family dynamic for everyone. Yet, you might worry about the psychological impact splitting from your spouse will have on your kids.
By understanding how breaking up with your partner may affect your children, you can learn how best to protect them. Continue reading to learn just how much kids may suffer during and after parental separation.
The Emotional Impact
Children will naturally feel upset when they learn their parents are separating, as they might be confused, angry, or scared for the future. However, your children’s ages might determine their reactions to the breakup.
For instance, young children might fear their parents may stop loving them, as they no longer love each other. For this reason, you must try to reassure them that your feelings for them will never change.
If your kids are at grade school, they might blame themselves for the separation due to their past misbehavior. Eliminate heartache by providing reassurance that they have not caused the breakup and that your relationship naturally came to an end.
If you’re raising a teenager, they might experience feelings of anger and blame one parent for the split. If possible, both parents should attempt to sit down with the teen(s) to ease their feelings of anger and prevent resentment from growing.
Parental separation can increase your children’s stress levels. In addition to dealing with the emotional impact, they may need to manage various stressors caused by their parents going their separate ways.
For example, they might experience stress due to:
- Splitting their time between two homes
- Living primarily with a stressed parent
- Changing schools
- Spending less time with one parent
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid all stress when splitting from your partner, but you and your ex can avoid adding to it. Parents will determine how well their children adjust to a separation. They must attempt to co-parent amicably, such as avoiding disagreements, arguments, or aggression. Visit twohealthyhomes.com for advice, support, and guidance on how to co-parent peacefully during and after a separation. You can choose from tailor-made solutions to prevent causing emotional damage to your children and potentially develop an amicable relationship with your ex.
Some children may adjust to divorce easier than others. Unfortunately, a child may develop behavioral issues due to emotional distress, as they might develop a conduct disorder, start making impulsive decisions, or perform poorly at school.
If your child develops behavioral issues following the separation, you and your ex should establish age-appropriate rules for your kids and follow through with consequences. As much as the repercussions might cause further emotional upset, consistent discipline will increase your child’s feelings of security, which may reduce behavioral issues and improve their academic performance.
Also, routinely monitor your child or teen’s activities and who they socialize with to ensure they know you’re watching them closely and they have your full attention. By doing so, they are more likely to improve their behavior, which might prevent them from taking risks, acting out at school, or experiencing emotional outbursts.