The Effects Of Divorce On Children
The Parent's Divorce Will Never Be Easy
I see the movies these days in which they portray children being fine with the idea that their parents got divorced and maybe started dating someone else, or even marry that new person, but in real life no child is ever OK with the thought that the parents split up.
When they decide to take this step this doesn't only affect or implicates the two adults but also the children they have together. People are not supposed to sacrifice their happiness just to keep the family together when things obviously don't work anymore, but every parent that takes this decision should always remember that the children will see this as an end, like assisting a funeral. This is how they perceive things.
It Doesn't Matter The Age Of The Child - The Pain Is The Same
Many people believe that if their children are all grown up and maybe with families or disappointments of their own, they will relate better to the situation and understand their parents' decision to separate.
That can't be further from the truth unfortunately. It doesn't matter at all if the child is three years old or thirty years old, the pain and sufferance of the parents divorce feels the same at any age.
A dear friend of mine told me she remembers so vividly the day when her parents told her they don't get along anymore and they think of separating. She felt like the ground ran from underneath her feet and it was like she was watching herself from outside her body. It didn't feel real, it felt like a vivid dream that you just want to wake up from.
She saw her parents kissing, hugging, laughing and helping each other all her life and now all that was gone. It felt like she was robbed of all those memories and experience because all she could see now was them taking different roads.
She had been through so many feeling since finding out. She was in denial, being convinced that it was just a phase they are going through, she tried to get them back together, thinking that all they need is a push, someone to remind them of how happy they were, she was so angry at them for not trying harder because she was feeling like they gave up without even fighting, and at some point she just didn't want to speak to either of them.
She understood that their future isn't together anymore and that they can no longer find happiness together, but no matter how well she would understand it she could never get used to the idea.
What Should Parents Do?
Stay together would be a solution. I know, people can't be forced to have an unhappy life when all they want is to feel free again, to get out of the cage they feel like they are locked in.
I think the best thing that parents can do is to try to make things work. They loved each other before, this is why they got married, so why not try everything you possibly can before calling it a quit? I think this is the best that can be done for any child and for them, as a couple. At least this way you can say you have actually tried and things really can't be fixed anymore. But, do try, in the true sense of the word, set aside all your unhappiness and disagreements and all the bad blood that was between you and try to work things out.
If the result is the same and the two of you still want to divorce than make sure you never bad mouth one another to your children. They only need to know you can't be happy together anymore and that you took this decision together, that it is not their fault (the children's) in any way and your problems don't implicate them in anyway, and that you will always love them as well as each other even if you are not together anymore.
You need to let them see a normal attitude even if you live in separate houses. The fact that the parents continue to be nice to each other after divorce will help the child accept the new situation and adjust fast and easier to it.
What If Children Revolt?
That is a great possibility especially if the children are young and a new love interest appears in one of the parent's life. If things happen to fast, the new love comes shortly after their divorce or separation, the child will perceive this new person as being the one that came between its parents.
The child sees the new person as an ending. Until that person appears there are chances for the parents to get back together, but when the third person comes into place that is the end. That is the enemy from which fault its parents will never get back together.
The only way to make the newcomer to be accepted is to be introduced to the child while both parents are present. If, for example the dad comes home with a new woman, he should introduce it alongside the child's mother and the mother should explain to the child that she is OK with this and she accepts the new woman in dad's life. The same should happen if the mother brings home a new man, dad should accept it and talk to the child.
How one parent sees the new love interest of the other parent is exactly how the child will see that person. If the mother talks bad about the new woman and treats her bad this is how the child will do as well.
Show the child that you can be a happy family no matter how much your situation changes. Listen to what your child has to say, to what disturbs them, the fears they have, and anything they might want to tell you. Acknowledge their feelings. This will make the transition easier.
Remember that it doesn't matter what age the child is, the feeling of pain and lost will be the same. My friend was 25 years old when she found out about her parents and she was devastated. I have another friend who was 23 when her parents divorced and she still doesn't speak to her father because he was the one who found someone new and this is why the marriage ended. That was five years ago.
When Children Ask Their Parents To Get A Divorce
This happens even if you might find it hard to believe. When one of the parent makes a huge mistake and the child finds out and sees how much it hurts the other parent that is when the child might suggest a divorce.
When the two parents treat each other bad and they always hurt one another, either verbally or physically, at some point the child will tell them to get a divorce and live in separate places.
If your child is asking you to do this, then you should know it has been affected really hard by your problems. That is when you take action, you divorce and you do your best to support your child in recovering from your fights.
Maybe you are unhappy or unsatisfied with your life when you decide to divorce, but remember that your child doesn't see that, so consider their feelings when taking this step.