All divorces are hard, but when the marriage produced children, things often get much more emotionally difficult. Married couples with children in Colorado should know how their upcoming divorce can affect their kids.
Why is the first year after divorce hardest for children?
After parents get divorced, the first year is typically the most difficult for children. It’s common for kids to have trouble coping emotionally and psychologically. This is the time when they have to adjust to the new family dynamic as their parents are no longer married. Many kids react with anger, stress, resentment and sadness.
Children are resilient and quickly get used to the change in the family situation and their new routines. At the same time, things are never back to normal for many of them.
What are the impacts of divorce on kids?
It’s common for children of all ages to experience stress when their parents divorce. While younger kids often feel scared, it’s common for elementary school-age kids to blame themselves and believe they did something wrong to cause the divorce. Teens often lash out in anger and might blame one parent.
Many children of divorce suffer from behavioral issues and might act out or even engage in risky behavior depending on their age. Older kids sometimes react by experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and even sex.
Another way that divorce can affect kids is that they can have trouble in school both behaviorally and academically. While dealing with their heavy emotions, many children might end up missing time from school. Physically, they can also experience problems like anxiety, upset stomach and headaches.
How can parents help their kids?
While divorce can disrupt children’s lives, it’s up to parents to be supportive and reinforce that they are still a family even with all the changes. One of the best ways parents can ease things for the kids is to work together as a team to co-parent. Avoiding any hostility or unpleasantness in front of the children is important as it could help reduce their stress.