Children and Divorce

As the divorce rate continues to increase, nearly 50% of children are growing up in a single parent environment. Children need their parents in order to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. If the bond between the parent and the child is broken, negative consequences can be a result and can be traumatic for a child.

The games that are played between parents after the divorce can be overcome by the parents, but for the children self-esteem and self-identity can be lost. Parents need to be a part of a child’s life. Divorce affects children in their school environment, their peer environment, and their family structure. The family structure takes on a new definition, differing greatly from the traditional family structure. Many divorces are highly emotional and can draw children into the conflict. Conflict weighs greatly on how the family functions as a unit. In some cases, children feel they are to blame for the separation. Children will go to great lengths to gain back their normal family lifestyle.

The sad fact is that when people get divorced the separation between parent and child is inevitable. How children react to this separation must be managed by the parents. It is important for parents to keep close observations on how their children are coping and adjusting to the divorce.

Children will be questioning their feelings and it is the job of the parents to help guide their children through troubling times. Despite the fact that the child is living "in a single-parent family", it is critical that the child is able to talk to both parents openly. Trust is a key ingredient in establishing a healthy and emotionally sound child. This is truly what co-parenting is all about. Despite the fact that the marriage has changed, the responsibilities of the parents remains the same. It is still the responsibility of the parents to be parents.

Is it possible for two people to be good co-parents? Is it beneficial for the parents to not even try co-parenting, for the sake of their children? If co-parenting is not tried, then the children will almost certainly suffer.

Any adult who comes from a divorced family understands what divorce can do to a child. The age of onset can also affect how the child will react. If the separation occurs when the child is still a child, the memories may be forgotten within a given amount of time. More of the separation will be remembered if the child is an adolescent. If parents work together, your child can ultimately develop emotionally healthy.

Co-parenting does not work for all families, but it does reduce the suffering that the child is going through. No matter how harsh the relationship between ex-spouses is, if the two parties work together, the relationship with their children can be a workable one.

The purpose for this section is not to tell you what to legally do with your children. The purpose is to encourage separated parents to develop a workable parenting plan, a plan that is best suited for you as the parent, and a plan that is best for developing a healthy child.