Rebecca Bitton’s article for Huffington Post about how divorce impacts children has food for thought for parents who are divorcing. Divorce is not only an upheaval for the married couple but its impact on the children of the marriage is not to be underestimated. Each child is going to handle the experience differently and a parent would do well to try not to get bogged down in their own grief/anger/resentment/loss and realize that their child is having a life changing experience too.
After my parents told my brothers and I that they were getting a divorce, they spent many evenings closed away in their bedroom discussing the practical matters related to their divorce. I don’t think they realized the effect that closed door had on me. At the age of 11 my life was undergoing a tremendous change and I felt that I was dealing with it by myself. We were going to be leaving our home, the city where we were living, our school and our friends. I did not want to do any of these things, although logically I understood that they were necessary. But all of that on top of losing my intact family was a lot to process by myself.
If you’re going through a divorce, check in with your child to make sure they’re doing ok. If you know a child whose parents are getting a divorce, offer them a caring ear and some of your attention. It will be time well spent and could make a huge difference in a time of great turmoil for a child who is feeling adrift.