When Kentucky parents divorce, their children can be just as affected as the two spouses. They can experience a range of emotions and struggle with their mental health, during and after the process. However, there are ways you can support and protect your children during and after divorce.
Parental conflict and its effect on the children
One of the main reasons children are affected by divorce is the exposure to conflict between the parents. When children witness their parents arguing and screaming at each other as the marriage ends, the children can experience a range of emotions such as:
• Fear for the changes that are happening
• Anger towards their parents for their divorce
• Guilt that their parents are breaking up because of them
• Sadness at losing their family
Children might worry that one or both parents might abandon them. They might also struggle with the idea that they must take sides with their parents. This can be further complicated when parents ask their children to spy on the other parent or use the children as messengers to avoid speaking to each other. All these feelings can threaten a child’s mental health and the effects of this can last well beyond the divorce.
How parents can protect their children during the divorce process
Protecting the children’s emotional well-being during a divorce is possible. Some of the actions parents can take to help children during the divorce and protect their mental health include:
• Learning to communicate in a positive manner with the other parent, particularly in front of the children
• Offering the children love and support during the process
• Allowing the children to ask questions about the divorce and the anticipated changes in family dynamics and answering in an appropriate manner
• Encouraging the child’s relationship with their other parent and resisting the urge to talk badly about them to the child
Maintaining the children’s stability and well-being as the priority during the divorce can help parents figure out ways to positively resolve their own issues. However, it does involve commitment and effort from both parents.