“How could divorce affect my kids? ” “How can I minimize the emotional distress that my child is experiencing? ” Many parents asked themselves many difficult questions after taking the difficult decision of ending their marriage with divorce. Unfortunately, life is not perfect and sometimes the best option for families is divorce. However, we must realize that divorce not only affects the parents, but it mostly affects the children. Research shows that children whose parents are divorce suffer academically and are more likely to be incarcerated for a crime as a juvenile among other things.
The thought that these events could happen calls for action, not only from the parents but also from the whole family. There are many strategies that could help a child overcome a divorce and avoid unfortunate events. Children of divorced parents can cope with the hardships of a dissolved marriage by engaging in social and physical activities, seeking professional help, and forming a strong family unity. Participating in social and physical activities is a great way of helping a child cope with the divorce of his or her parents more effortlessly.
It is important to keep children busy, whether it is playing a sport or having them participate in a social activity. This ongoing interaction with others helps a person deal with the hardships of everyday life more clearly. It is in a sense a temporary relief from the pain and suffering a child might be going through. Not only will this help a child cope with divorce, but it also paves the way to having an appreciation for physical activities which can be very beneficial to the overall health of an individual.
Going through a divorce is already hard, however getting our youth involved in sports and social activities can help them get their minds of what is going on and lead the way for acceptance. Sometimes parents do not have all the right answers and this is when seeking professional help can be a good option in helping a child cope with divorce. Seeking professional help means seeking the opinion and advice of someone who is not biased to the situation. This method can be very beneficial for the child because the situation is seen from a psychological perspective.
One method that can be very useful in helping a child cope with divorce is the use of transitional objects as a form of therapy. According to McCullough (2009) “Transitional objects promote autonomy [because] [unlike] the infant’s mother, the transitional object is completely controlled by the child. ” Basically what this means is that a child can resort to an object from his or her childhood and use the comfort of having that object as a way to cope with the difficulties of seeing the separation/divorce of his or her parents.
Transitional objects have been mostly used to deal with the challenges of infancy. However, they can be utilized in the later stages “such as in adolescence when a child begins to mourn the loss of his or her childhood” McCullough (2009). According to the case study sponsored by a local community-based organization on a boy named Jay, he managed to effectively “transition from projecting his feelings into preexisting personal objects to working directly with his emotions” (McCullough, 2009).
This method is very promising and can help children cope with the emotional stress of dealing with a divorce. It is a parent’s job to seek the appropriate professional help in order to help his or her child deal with a divorce more smoothly. There is no place like home and the support of family members in helping a child cope with the hardships of a divorce. Whenever a traumatic life event happens, it is important to create bonds and a strong family unity. Yes, a divorce is the separation of a mother and father, however it is not a separation of the parents from their child.
It is vital for a child to continue to feel unconditional love and support from his or her parents. Parents have a crucial role in helping their child feel loved. Parent’s need to set aside all differences and work for the welfare of their child. This means that the parents need to be involved in the child’s life as much as possible by avoiding any confrontation and maintaining excellent communication. Something as simple as saying “I love you” is all that a child needs to feel loved and protected. For kids, divorce can feel like a loss: the loss of a parent, the loss of the life they know.
Parents can help their children grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings. Divorce affects persons of all races and social conditions in the United States and roughly, 45 percent of marriages end in divorce (Kelly S. Michael, Raines C. James, Stone Susan, Frey Andy, 2010). This information is telling us that we cannot be blind to the fact that divorce is regularly happening in this country. Therefore, we must address the emotional distress that a divorce can have on our children.
The methods previously mentioned are only a few of the many methods that can be approached to help a child cope with the emotional pain of seeing the divorce of his or her parent’s. Whether it is joining a support group, beginning therapy sessions, or forming a stronger family bond, we must find a way minimize the pain and suffering that a child might go through in such a stressful life event. We are the caregivers of our children and helping them get through a divorce will give them the tools to overcome anything in life.