One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is breaking the news to your kids. According to Healthline, divorce impacts kids in many ways. It can also have a lasting negative effect on some children.
That is why you must help your children cope with the news and the new home situation. Here are a few possible effects of divorce and what you can do to mitigate them.
How your children might respond to divorce
Kids experience a wide range of emotions upon learning of their parents’ divorce. Many children struggle with depression, regardless of their age. Anger is another common reaction, which is often a response to their lack of control over the situation. Other kids can become overly shy or anxious, which can lead them to withdraw from their peers socially.
Physical effects can also occur. Many children have trouble sleeping due to the stress and anxiety they experience. Weight gain is another common yet surprising occurrence, according to one study. Children of divorce also have a higher risk of alcohol and substance abuse as they get older.
How you can alleviate negative consequences
The best way to avoid these negative effects is to approach the situation the right way. Do not wait until the last minute to break the news to your kids. Instead, have a discussion at least two weeks prior to separating from your spouse. Inform your children of the next steps, especially if they need to move homes or change schools. Most importantly, emphasize that the situation had nothing to do with them. Highlight positive aspects, such as a decrease in the conflict in the home.
Children experience a wide range of emotions during divorce, from anger to sadness and everything in between. Let them know these feelings are normal and that you are there to support them every step of the way.