Important Issues to Consider about Children and Divorce
When you have children, getting marriage help is never a too-little, too-late proposition. If you should find that failed attempts at saving your marriage have left you and your spouse on the brink of a divorce, be willing to try new solutions, especially if children are involved. While divorce is never easy, it is one of the most feared, painful situations a child is ever forced to face.
While the thought of raising children as a single parent can be frightening, the thought of only living with or seeing one of your parents is even more frightening for a child. No matter the reason, divorce puts a child in the middle of the two people she or he loves the most. Regardless of how civil a divorce proceeding might be, the dynamics of your family will change forever and the effects of this decision will filter your child’s thoughts, views and beliefs about themselves, marriage and family, and even life itself. The importance of understanding the potential problems children of divorce face cannot be overstated.
Various studies have been done that indicate that children of divorce are more likely to have academic problems, display aggression and get into trouble with school authorities and the police. Even in the best of circumstances, children from divorced families deal with more emotional and social stress than children whose parents have a healthy marital relationship.
Not only do children of divorce deal with loneliness and loss, they often experience feelings of abandonment which can be far more painful and impacting than bereavement. Many struggle with issues of self esteem, feeling that in some way they are responsible for their parents’ divorce. Many try to fix the “problem” only to end up feeling like a failure. It is important to realize that a child’s fear is real; his or her family is going to change forever. Inevitably, children are the innocent bystanders of divorce who are forced to face the complexities of adult relationships.
Before you decide to end your marriage, consider all the resources for help available to you. Thousands of couples each year seek out the help of marriage professionals as well as marriage workshops or seminars. Many churches have faith-based counseling for couples and children. For families dealing with addiction issues at the heart of the marital problems, look for help from intervention and support groups.
Before you sit down to tell your children that their parents are getting a divorce, make sure you have exhausted all your options for saving your marriage. Your children will be glad you did.