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New study highlights disconnect between parents and kids during divorce

Posted in Divorce,Uncategorized on January 10, 2014

A 2013 survey highlights how divorce impacts children. The study by U.K. parenting site, surveyed 1,000 parents and 100 children separately about divorce. Of those surveyed, thirty-nine percent of children said they hide their feelings about the divorce from their parents. Twenty percent said that they can’t communicate their feelings about the divorce with their parents because the parents were too “wrapped up in themselves.” While fourteen percent said that they felt as though they couldn’t be honest with their parents about how upset they felt.

In addition to feeling that they couldn’t express their feelings to their parents, nearly one-third of children under 18 described themselves as devastated over the divorce while 13 percent even blamed themselves for the breakup of the marriage.

A majority of parents surveyed, 77 percent, felt their children were coping fine with the break-up, and ten percent said their kids were relieved that the divorce occurred. Of the parents surveyed, only 5 percent said that they were aware that their kids blamed themselves for the divorce.

According to the survey, parents were also equally unaware of how their children were coping with the divorce. The survey concluded that five percent of kids drank alcohol to cope, while 11 percent self-harmed and six people contemplated suicide as a result of the spilt. Only 1 percent of those parents surveyed reported knowing about this type of behavior.

This survey highlights the disconnect between parents and children when a family is being split up. In order to ensure better communication and a better relationship with your children while going through a divorce, here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t bad mouth your spouse.
  • Don’t confide in your children about your disagreements with your spouse
  • Try to maintain your usual family routines while going through a divorce.
  • Continue to be a supportive, loving parent. Reinforce to your children that you love them no matter what occurs and continue to be a consistent parent to them.
  • If your child is having a particularly difficult time coping with the divorce, get help. A therapist can provide a safe place for your child to discuss their feelings.
  • Encourage your children to maintain a relationship with your former spouse and keep the other parent informed about activities occurring in the child’s life.

Divorce is a very trying time on families, couples and children. Make sure that, as a parent you maintain an open line of communication with your kids to ensure that their mental health through the process is stable and to ensure that your children make this difficult transition as smoothly as possible.

If you are contemplating a divorce, our attorneys can assist you through this process. Contact us today for any questions you may have.