Under any circumstances, ending a marriage is stressful. When children are caught in the middle, a divorce can have significant psychological impacts. Here’s how a parental divorce can affect children psychologically, and what parents in Florida can do to protect the mental health of their children in these circumstances.
The first year may be the hardest
Recent research has shown that children typically struggle the most during the first year or two after a divorce. When parents first separate, children are likely to experience disbelief, anxiety, distress and even anger. To help with difficult emotions, parents should do their best to establish a daily routine. This will create structure and a sense of security as the children grow more comfortable in their “new normal.”
Nearly all children whose parents divorce will experience stress in one form or another. Rates of mental health issues like anxiety and depression usually increase in children of divorce. Keep in mind that these mental health struggles will sometimes manifest in the form of behavior problems.
Helping children adjust
The marriage is over, so focus on the well-being of the children now. Parents should never make their kids choose sides or put the children in the middle of their divorce. Ending a years-long marriage is tough, but always avoid letting conflict from the past transfer over into parenting roles.
Where to get help
Keep in mind that it is normal for children to struggle with their feelings or behavior immediately following a parental divorce. However, things will likely get better with time. Those in Florida who need help with divorce or family law issues may want to consider speaking with a legal professional. An experienced attorney can provide guidance while helping to create a parenting plan that achieves personal goals and protects children.