How to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children

It is estimated that around 50% of married couples end up divorcing. These figures refer to Spain (INCE, 2009) and it is estimated that this percentage is increasing more and more.

We are currently undergoing many changes socially, relationships are designed in different ways, there is more and more diversity in family types and the idea of ​​marriage as the only way to have a family of its own is. far.

Divorces are the order of the day and in fact these cases abound not only in the legal field but in psychological counseling.Either because the person who is divorcing needs psychological support during the process, or because the parents see that this situation affects the children.

    What effect does divorce have on boys and girls?

    The effect that divorce can have varies greatly depending on different factors. mostly when parents are at constant war, boys and girls can end up developing some kind of psychological disorder later on (Anxiety, depression, social inadequacy, etc.). But what studies show us is that most little ones will go through a period of transition until they adjust to the situation so they don’t necessarily develop problems later.

    The main discrepancies in which minors generally find themselves academic performance problems as well as emotional and / or social inadequacy.

    On the other hand, it is important to mention that currently, divorce is no longer an exception but has become normalized and it is therefore easier for the child to find other people of his age who are living or have gone through the same situation. This greatly reduces the impact of divorce.

    What can parents do?

    A priority undoubtedly is the cordial relationship that parents must maintain.. It seems obvious that the more disputes parents have, the more the process will affect their sons and daughters. It is therefore necessary that both maintain a conciliatory attitude or, at the very least, try to eliminate the conflicts between them.

    There are a few recommendations for minimizing the effects of divorce; are the following.

    1. Explain the situation to the child

    Sometimes we think we need to protect our kids at all costs and that means not telling them what’s going on. In fact, the opposite is happening. At some point, they will know the truth and it is better that they find out for their parents and not for other people. Care should be taken to adapt the explanation to their age, to use clear words and not to give excessive information that they cannot understand.

      2. Make sure they understand the explanation

      We need to make sure that they understand what we have told them, that they know the situation is not reversible, and that they understand that what is happening is not affecting how we feel about him / her. You will be told that you will have to adapt to some changes, but that he must understand that what happened is not his faultAs sometimes the lack of information and discussion leads them to think so.

      3. Resolve doubts

      It is normal that after all this information, doubts arise and, as far as possible, we should try to resolve them. When we do not have an answer to a question, it is better to tell him the truth: “The truth is that I do not know it yet but when we have it clear, I will tell you.” We must avoid giving false illusions or explanations based on assumptions which we do not know if they can be fulfilled later.

      4. Describe the changes

      If we explain in advance who she will be living with, how many days she will spend with her other parent and what will change and what will stay the same, it will be easier for her to adjust to the new situation.

      5. Understand your emotions

      The child will go through a process of adaptation, just like the couple who will have to face the “mourning” which implies separation.. This is why it is important that we are open, we are interested in what the child is feeling and we leave room for his emotions without trying to eliminate them. It’s okay to be sad, angry, or even scared at first. You will need to explain to her that it is common to go through these emotions and help her during the process.

      6. Avoid saying bad things about each other

      One of the biggest mistakes ex-partners make is saying bad things about the other parent to their children. Ultimately, if we fall into this, we will be deprived of something essential for its proper development, both emotionally and socially.

      7. Avoid using children as intermediaries

      Just as you should avoid talking badly about the other person, children are often used as a means to influence the behavior and decisions of the other partner. A lot of times the effect this has on children is not taken into account, but in the long run we will be doing them a disservice.

      Are you looking for help?

      Finally, it is important to stress that a divorce should not be more contentious and prejudicial to a minor than a marriage. In fact, if there is constant conflict in marriage and a negative climate in the family, it will eventually affect the children.

      There is therefore no reason to excuse the idea that children will not be able to cope with divorce, because as we have seen they eventually adapt and it is better to live with conflicts at home, as long as these conflicts do not spread. in the process of separation.

      Sometimes the adjustment period for minors is complicated and the help of a professional may be necessary. If this is your case, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to advise and support you throughout the process.

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