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Dealing with the effects of divorce on children

Texas parents who are going through a divorce are often concerned about how it will affect their children. While divorce can have negative effects on children, parents can work individually and together to counterbalance those effects and to protect their children’s well-being.

Divorce can impact many aspects of a child’s life

When a family goes through a divorce, different aspects of the child’s life will be affected. Because of this, the child might experience fear and confusion for the unknown, anger at the parents for the changes and even feel guilt, wondering if they had done something that caused the split. The child might feel like their life has been upended, having to move to a new home and neighborhood, splitting time between two homes or having to change schools.

The emotional impact of divorce on the child

With all the changes that accompany divorce, the child might also struggle emotionally. While children are generally resilient when it comes to challenges, the emotional impact will be different for each. Some of the ways a child can be emotionally affected by divorce include:

• Feeling alienated from friends and the community
• Struggling to accept the changes in the family
• Losing interest in their extracurricular and social activities
• Acting out and performing poorly in school
• Becoming irritable and struggling with personal relationships

In some cases, emotional struggles can lead to physical ones. They might become more prone to illness and have trouble sleeping.

What you can do to minimize the effects of divorce on your child

Before, during and after the divorce process, you can minimize the effects on your child by offering reassurance that they have your love and support. A child often fears the idea of losing their family, so they need to see that both parents are committed to the family. Learning to communicate with your ex-spouse is important and can act as a model for the children on how to resolve issues amicably.

Your active involvement and support can help your children overcome the challenges of divorce. Together, you can look towards a future with new experiences and opportunities.