Children, Divorce, & Risk

Most parents think that when the divorce is over, they and their children can finally settle down into their new lives and routine. However, research has found that kids struggle the most during the first year or two after the divorce. Kids are likely to experience distress, anger, anxiety, and disbelief. Further risks are physical and mental illness, sexual promiscuity, poor school performance, potential drug &/or alcohol abuse as well as suicidal ideation.

The Emotional Impact of Divorce on Children

  • Young children often struggle to understand why they must go between two homes.
  • They may worry that if their parents can stop loving one another that someday, their parents may stop loving them.
  • Grade school children may worry that the divorce is their fault.
  • They may fear they misbehaved or they may assume they did something wrong.
  • Teenagers may become quite angry about a divorce and the changes it creates.
  • They may blame one parent for the dissolution of the marriage or they may resent one or both parents for the upheaval in the family.

Of course, each situation is unique. In extreme circumstances, a child may feel relieved by the separation—if a divorce means fewer arguments and less stress.

Why Do Some Children "Bounce Back" While Others Struggle?

Parents play a major role in how children adjust to a divorce. The primary difference lies in how much "resilience" is being infused by parents, school and environments the children are active in. Resilience has four basic legs

  • A growing knowledge and sense of self ground in self-esteem/self-worth
  • Awareness and development of one's unique skills, innate abilities, and talents as they show up in the context of who we are as individuals (influenced by culture, family, genetics, etc. )
  • A sense of purpose or direction in life
  • A wide variety of practices that develop the above and support our sense of well being.

Parents can consciously engage in building their children's sense of "resilience" during the divorce and post-divorce, helping their children avoid many of the risks and pitfalls of divorce as outlined above. In order to do so, they will be moving through their own feeling of blame, betrayal, and anger using tools like forgiveness and learning more particularly about practices they can use for themselves and their children. This is the basis of our "Divorce-Proof Your Kids" Workshop, a seven-week virtual workshop that gives parents a network of support with like-minded parents, tools and education to mourn and release their marriage and help their children to develop a new stability in their lives post-divorce.

Invite Us To Speak to Parents in Your Organization

I'm on a mission to help parents build resilience in their children in the divorce process and post-divorce. Contact me to explore ways we can help you educate parents on building resilience during and after divorce.

Invest In Your Children's Resilience

Explore our "Divorce-Proof" Your Kids Workshop for Parents. A cost-effective, 8-week virtual workshop that will help you create a more resilient environment for your children.

Strategies to Learn for Your Kids Well Being:

Here are some related strategies that can reduce the psychological toll divorce has on children:

  • Co-parent peacefully.
  • Don’t put kids in the middle.
  • Maintain a healthy relationship with your child.
  • Use consistent discipline.
  • Monitor adolescents closely.
  • Empower your child.
  • Teach specific coping skills.
  • Help your child feel safe and secure.
  • Attend a parent education program.
  • Seek professional help for yourself.

Invest In Your Childrens Resilience

Explore our "Divorce-Proof" Your Kids Workshop for Parents. A cost-effective, 8-week virtual workshop that will help you create a more resilient environment for your children.