Self Esteem

Separation and Self Esteem: How Divorce Affects Children

Divorce and separation come with many changes and it can often become hard to navigate how to best move forward. This is especially true if children are involved. Whether you’re involved in an amicable separation or a more tumultuous split, it’s often hard to determine the best course forward when it comes to parting ways, while maintaining a healthy relationship with your children.

During the separation period, intense emotions can come to the surface and although your children may be shielded from the intimate details of the split, they are often able to pick up on the tension between parents or can witness arguments. Although it’s not intended, children who are surrounded by uncertainty, arguments and high-emotions can inevitably be affected and may suffer some repercussions.

Below is some helpful information on how to minimize the negative effects of divorce on your children and how you and your kids can thrive in a post-marriage world.

1. The Way You’re Fighting is Affecting Your Children’s Bodies

https://youtu.be/cKcNyfXbQzQ

It’s not necessarily that divorce or separation innately affects your children. It really has more to do with the way you communicate as parents that can wreak havoc or help heal your children. In this great Ted Talk, Dr Ajiji explores not only the impact of divorce on children but also how chronic fighting can impact all children (including those whose parents stay married through constant conflict). It may start off a little heavy, but stay tuned until the end when Dr Ajiji explores how you can help your children through the process of divorce or separation.

2. Clear Communication:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-raise-happy-cooperative-child/201302/8-strategies-helping-kids-adjust-divorce

It might sound cliché but, communication is key. Not only is it important to maintain healthy communication with your ex-spouse (when possible), but it’s also very important to be clear when relaying the message of your separation to your children. The above article illustrates how you can inform your children on several aspects of your separation, including why you’ve chosen to move forward on your own paths and what your children can expect to happen moving forward.

3. Consider Counselling  

It’s never a bad idea to seek help when needed. Maybe you’d like to work on improving communication with your former partner, maybe you’d like to learn how to create a healthy dialogue between you and your children when speaking about the separation/divorce or you may be seeking services on behalf of your child who you think may benefit from therapy. Here at Reflection Centre, we offer a variety of services geared towards family and youth counselling and meditation.

Separation and divorce can be challenging for all family members, but there are ways to make it as smooth of a transition as possible while maintaining your child’s comfort and self-esteem. You’re not alone, be sure to give us a call if you’re within Simcoe County and are looking for additional resources!