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What children really think about their parents' divorces

Numerous studies have confirmed in recent years that when parents opt to divorce, they often do their children more good than harm in the long-run. This conclusion is born out of the fact that parents often provide happier, healthier and more stable homes for their children when they are not constantly fighting or navigating the tensions of an unhappy and unhealthy marriage.

As beneficial as divorcing may be for children in the long-run, it can be a very stressful and emotional process for kids and teens in the short-term. As a result, it is important to understand the unique needs and challenges of kids and teens who are weathering a divorce. When parents better understand these realities, they can seek to address them properly in parenting plan provisions affecting any particular child.

For example, kids often struggle to express their true feelings about divorce. Sometimes these feelings are difficult to identify or are difficult to articulate. Other times, kids simply fear being judged or hurting their parents by expressing their feelings. If parents come to understand common thoughts that divorced kids and teens share in regards to the divorce process, they can respond more appropriately to these thoughts and feelings.

Common challenges that kids and teens of divorced parents tend to share include fears that their parents will no longer be able to care for them adequately, concerns that the divorce was somehow their fault and frustrations when their parents do not seem to understand why the child wants or does not want to remain loyal to both parents equally.

Source: The Huffington Post, “12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say,” Tara Kennedy-Kline, April 20, 2014

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