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Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

Helping Your Child Through a Divorce

As the divorce rate in America continues to be high each year in the United States, marriages crumble and families are torn apart. Yet, it may be the children who suffer the most when their parents decide to end their marriage.

For those concerned parents who are considering divorce, it is essential to understand that children suffer in a number of ways. To begin with, divorce is a time of a great stress not just for the married couple, but also for their children.   Most children do not want their parents to separate, or end their marriage.  Furthermore, children are often worried that they will lose contact with a parent after a divorce is finalized. 

Many times, divorce leads to behavioral and psychological challenges or issues with children.  Issues of anger, rebellion, and disobedience may also surface during or after a divorce.  Along with this, children may also suffer from depression or anxiety as a result of their parent’s divorce.

Due to the many emotions and anxieties that swirl inside a child during this time, they often times have great difficulty focusing.  As a result, school becomes less of a priority, and grades and academic performances often times suffer.  Quite simply, children do not feel like studying while their family unit is breaking apart.  In order to try and cope during this time of great anxiety and change, children may turn to self isolation, in an attempt to try and hide from the realities that surround them.  This isolation may lead to further depression, as well.

For those parents who struggle with not only the many challenges and life changes that come with divorce, but also with watching their children suffer from separation and divorce, they may turn to a divorce mediator.  Divorce mediators are trained to help divorce couples work through their problems, and to resolve disputes.  Mediators act as a neutral third party, and do not give legal advice.

Mediation during a divorce is not always the answer.  As divorce mediation can be quite costly, it is important to keep in mind that the mediation may not solve the issues that the couple face. As noted earlier, divorce mediators are not divorce attorneys.

To be sure, divorce is a time of great change for a family, and for a child.  What children need most during a divorce is for their parents to listen to the concerns of their children, remind them that they are not at fault, and surround the child in love; love from both parents.

Foster Care and Parenting Specialist

Dr. John DeGarmo is considered a leading expert in Foster Care and Parenting.  Dr. John and his wife have been parents to over 50 children, including adopting three children from the foster care system. He is the host of the weekly radio program Parent Factors with Dr. John. Find out more HERE.