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Children Aren't Handling Divorce as Well as You Think

Children Aren't Handling Divorce as Well as You ThinkA new study involving the children of people who file for divorce has determined that divorced parents are often in denial about the effects their breakup has on the well-being of their children.

In the study, around 75 percent of participants believe their children have “coped well,” despite the fact that children report a happiness rate of just 18 percent.

The study’s authors state that many parents fail to realize their children have turned to substance abuse and are contemplating suicide.

Parents Are ‘Too Wrapped Up’ In Themselves, Children Say

According to the findings of the study, about 20 percent of children said there was no point in confiding in their parents, admitting that Mom and Dad are “too wrapped up in themselves.”

Furthermore, one in 20 youngsters had begun abusing alcohol, while six percent were contemplating suicide. Two had actually tried to kill themselves.

The polling, conducted by Netmums, targeted 1,000 divorced parents and 100 children of divorce in the UK, but it could easily be a snapshot of anywhere. That’s why it’s important to take proactive steps if you’re filing divorce papers to ensure your children aren’t left behind. We suggest:

Include your children in decisions. While you still need to be the parent and provide discipline as needed, the family dynamic is changed completely when divorce forms are filed. Children have a tendency to feel ignored when they become trapped in a divorce, so make sure that you take steps to show them they have a voice and that they are still valued.

Make sure they know it isn’t their fault. It’s easy for children of divorce to blame themselves for the breakup of a marriage. They can start to develop self-esteem issues as a result. Make sure that you communicate with them about the situation, and let them know, without trash-talking your ex, that the failures of the relationship do not fall on them.

Be accessible to them. That doesn’t mean adopting a laissez-faire approach to parenting and letting them come to you when they feel like it. Kids have a tendency to withdrawal during the trauma of divorce, so you’ll want to adopt a proactive stance when it comes to letting them know you’re still here. Make time for them. Schedule outings and one-on-one time. Put in the extra effort to reach them where they are. After all, our children are worth the extra effort!

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