Divorce can be bad for children, but staying in an unhealthy family relationship can sometimes be worse.
Divorce rates began rising in the US in the 1970s and peaked in the early 1980s, causing a lot of concern over its effect on children. Divorce affects different children differently, depending on the degree of conflict between the parents before the divorce, the amount of financial hardship after the divorce, and the attitudes of the parents, especially the custodial parent.
If your family has gone through a divorce (or a death of any family member, for that matter), expect that the children will grieve over losing daily contact with missing family member(s). They may also have to adjust to a reduced standard of living, possibly move and enter another school, and may have long-term anxieties about their own future relationships.
Although most early research on divorce being bad for children focused on the problems of the children, more recent studies have found that most children of divorce lead happy, well-adjusted lives. Communication with the custodial parent often improves, and families tend to become more democratic, allowing children greater participation in decision-making.
If your family has gone through a divorce, first, take care of your own mental health as a parent. Find positive friends and/or support groups. Cultivate a healthy, conflict-free relationship with your ex for the sake of the children – cooperation is better than conflict. Finally, establish a healthy, positive, and comfortable environment for the kids. If you are the wealthier partner, do your best to make sure the children don’t lack financially.
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