How Children can Adjust to a Divorce

There are several factors that impact children in the process of a divorce. Some children may have a hard time coping and adjusting to such a life changing situation. Parents can influence some of these factors by taking specific actions and there are some factors that are out of their control. At times, some families may take up to three years to adjust to the divorce and in some cases, it might take as much as five years. It depends on the surrounding circumstances of the divorce. Some divorce cases are hotly contested while some are more amicable.

Working it Out

It is important that parents become aware of the implications of the divorce and try to do what is best for the children. If there is a crisis, the children may need counseling with a professional. In some cases, one or both parents can try to work out a solution that suits the children involved rather than choosing a path that negatively impacts the children.

The Factors

As mentioned before, there are several factors that may or may not affect how children adjust to a divorce. These may include:

  •       Parent’s adjustment to the divorce
  •       Level of parental support to children
  •       Intensity of conflict between both parents
  •       Information given to children about the divorce
  •       Personality of each child
  •       Ability of children in dealing with any kind of stress
  •       The level of development and age of children

Conflict between Both Parents

Conflict is one of the most noteworthy factors that will affect the children’s adjustment to the divorce. This is especially obvious as it depends on how parents interact and how much exposure the children receive to the details of the divorce, especially when there is constant hostility between both parents.  If there is a volatile custody battle, it makes the matter worse. If one parent talks bad about the other parent in front of the child, it also exasperates the situation.

Parental Adjustment

One of the established factors to cause children to have a hard time adjusting to the divorce is how well both parents also adjust. If one parent is not cooperative, it can make the problem worse. In many cases, children look to both parents for guidance. Once parents are civil to each other, the child will see this as a sign of a truce.

Informed Children

Both parents should sit down with the children and explain that they are not able to get along anymore and have to part. Do not give too many details to the children, but enough for them to understand that you have both tried all that you can and that it is just not working out. Make sure to let the children know it is not their fault and that the decision to divorce will not impact the way that parents feel about them. Be sure to let them know that they are still loved by both of you. The age of the children and their developmental level will also determine how much information you provide. The parents know their children and should make a decision of how to handle this as it relates to each child’s personality and their ability to handle stress.