Surviving a Divorce with Children
Divorce is Stressful, Even without Kids
Deciding to divorce is stressful no matter what the circumstances might be, but divorce can be particularly difficult when children are involved. In fact, many Chicago couples stay together for years simply to avoid putting their children through a contentious divorce. Recent articles in the Washington Post and Time Magazine have indicated that more adults are divorcing later in life and into retirement age, largely due to parents deciding to stay together until their children are grown.
How can you survive a divorce with children? It’s important to understand the impact that divorce can have on children, and it’s essential to understand coping mechanisms. And when you have questions about child support, child custody, and visitation, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago divorce attorney.
Impact of Divorce on Children
According to an article in Psychology Today, children in varying age groups tend to respond differently to divorce. In short, children up to ages 8 or 9 tend to react in nearly opposite ways to adolescents between the ages of 9 and 13. Divorce affects kids of all ages, though, including adult children.
Why does divorce affect kids so drastically? It “introduces a massive change into the life of a boy or girl no matter what the age,” since children whose parents are going through a divorce witness a number of traumatic events, including:
Young children are extremely dependent on their parents, and they often refuse to believe that divorce is permanent. At the same time, young children’s short-term reactions to divorce can be quite pronounced, often involving separation anxiety, crying, clinginess, throwing tantrums, and other behavior intended to seek attention from both parents. In short, the dependent child attempts to find ways to feel connected to the divorcing parents.
On the flip side, many adolescents respond to divorce aggressively. Teens tend to act out, disregarding disciplinary practices of their parents and attempting to seek revenge against the parents. The key difference, according to psychologist Carl E. Pickhardt, is that young children grieve while adolescents exercise grievances.
Pickhardt suggests that divorcing parents attempt to establish “a sense of family order and predictability.” In practical terms, this might be done in the following ways:
Coping with Children During Divorce
In addition to showing children that they’re still part of a family even in the midst of divorce proceedings, an article in Parents Magazine suggests some important ways of helping kids to cope with divorce. The article suggests some of the following:
Contact an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney
If you have questions about getting through your divorce while helping your children to cope, an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer can assist you. Divorces don’t need to be contentious, and we can help to ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. Contact one of our dedicated Chicago divorce attorneys at M. Scott Gordon & Associates today.