In Texas, family members, especially children, must deal with challenging experiences as the family dynamic evolves after divorce. Divorce impacts children differently depending on their age group, and some may need extra support and resources to help them adjust. Parents can help reduce disruption and harm to their kids’ lives, beginning with understanding how divorce affects children in the following life stages.
Young children may feel confused and overwhelmed about their parents’ divorce. They might struggle to understand why one parent no longer lives in their home and may feel that the parent has abandoned them. Both parents need to reassure their children of their love and that both will continue their presence in the child’s life.
Teenagers may act independently like they can handle the emotional changes stemming from divorce but could have unconscious fears and other reactions that cause them to act out emotionally. Teens can become distant, rebellious or start engaging in risky behaviors. Teens will benefit from their parents’ understanding and support as they navigate this difficult time.
Adult children may find their parents’ divorce more difficult to deal with, especially if it happens later in life. Parents splitting up later in life can cause their adult children to struggle with issues of trust and have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. Parents can help by acknowledging their adult children’s feelings and offering support.
Some children need extra support
Some studies show that children of divorce have a higher risk of developing mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. They may need extra support to ease them through difficult times. Therapy, support groups and other types of counseling can provide a constructive outlet and guidance to help children cope. Additionally, parents can help by having open and honest conversations about the divorce and the children’s feelings and by providing them with the additional resources they need to feel better.
Divorce can significantly impact children at any age. By understanding the potential negative impacts, parents can find ways to support their children as the family navigates this challenging experience.