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Children’s Emotional Stress Linked With Divorcing Parents

Updated on June 2, 2009

Divorce and split up was not very long ago was looked upon as a taboo in the society. Today it has become turned from a glitch into likelihood for most of the marriages. The ratio has not just doubled but as a matter of fact increased manifolds to an extent that it is one out of three families in USA that are headed by single parents.

Couples which decide to split up usually have their own issues to consider but they overlook the interests of their off springs who are at a loss at this traumatic change in stance of their family life. For both boys and girls, it is very essential to have connection with both the parents as each has a role to play in their lives which finally lead to a fully developed personality without any negative personality traits.

Most children are not able to express their distress and end up with having behavior problems that cannot be linked with the absence of a parent initially but psychological evaluation of such children always reveal the fact that all problems are related to the missing interaction with the other parent.

Stress Indicators For Children With Newly Separated Parents

When a divorce takes place, usually the parents are too busy to notice any emotional change in a child who is being equally affected by this recent development. These are different for different age groups but the most common ones for all ages is “Depression” which they show in different ways such as:

  • Falling grades at school.

  • Lack of appetite.

  • Lack of interest in other activities like sports etc.

  • Increased bed wetting and nightmares in younger children.

  • Spending more time away from home in teens.

  • Aggressive behavior.

  • Undue quarrels between siblings

  • Sleep disorders.

  • Menstrual irregularities in teenage girls.

Remedial Measures

The most important factor for a parent should always be the wellbeing of their children. The ideal would be that such a separation be avoided. But when this is not possible then a method should be adopted such that both the parents should continue to remain in contact with the children as a parent.

In certain cases when this is not possible, parent who is in custody of the children has to do a bit more to reduce their children’s stress. Most importantly a child should never be blamed for the situation that led to the separation between the parents, nor should the absent parent be blamed unnecessarily for the event as it will be unfair for the other as he or she is not present to defend.

In order to reduce the stress of your child you have to understand that you are not the only one who has gone through a traumatic situation alone, they have a greater loss as you may find another partner but that will not ever replace the biological parent who is most likely not going to reunite. You can reduce their stress by adopting a few simple remedies:

  • Spend more time and give extra affection to your children with frequent hugs and kisses.
  • Talk to them about the issues relatively to their age and make them understand it in the simplest way.
  • Give them a little extra attention and this will also help you through the initial phase.
  • Let the children be in contact with the other parent and exchange notes with your ex-spouse so that you both know how the children are feeling about it and how to cope with things in the longer run.


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