Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Remarried Life


Feb 26, 2019

Brian Mayer talks about how divorce can affect children in ways seen and sometimes in ways not seen especially as they get older.  We will talk about this and ways to lessen the impact of an already devastating event in their lives.   We hope you are inspired by today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • As you know divorce can have devastating impacts on your life including emotional, mental, and sometimes even manifest in physical pain.  I remember back to my divorce and had some difficulty with depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and then for me it was stomach issues.  So divorce is certainly all encompassing on our own health. 
  • Of course as we know there is someone else that gets impacted by the divorce and that is the children.  I call this collateral damage in that while they may not be receiving the full brunt of the difficulties they can certainly be impacted.  The unfortunate issue is that they can not only be impacted during their childhood but also into adulthood.  I could probably could raise my hand as a child that was negatively impacted as a child of divorced parents.  If I am honest I could say that a small part of my own divorce could probably be traced back to my parents divorce and not having a good model for what a solid marriage should have looked like.   
  • There are certainly psychological effects on children, but researchers have found that some children bounce back faster than do others.  According to an article at the website called verywellfamily.com (posted below), they state that the first year after divorce for children is the toughest.  This makes complete sense as the only world they have ever known has been turned upside down.   
  • There is also an interesting difference in how kids of different age groups react differently to divorce.   
    • Preschool and younger children often simply fail to understand why the split and what is happening.  There may be a fear about what is happening and a sense of being out of control.  This can create a great deal of anxiety.
    • For elementary aged school children, this group will often feel that they are to blame for what happened.  This is a lot to carry around at such a young age for sure, but nonetheless it happens with this group.
    • Teenagers will get angry about what happened.  They may fall into a depression or look for one or both parents to blame.  They can get angry and often resentment will creep in. 
  • What are the specific ways divorce impacts kids:
    • Most obvious is probably behavior problems like acting out at home or at school.  For older children the behavior can turn risky like with sexual experimentation, drug or alcohol usage, and things like reckless driving. 
    • Emotional issues like depression or anxiety
    • Academic issues like missed assignments, decreasing grades, and increased absences.
    • Social issues like loss of friends or even a proactive rejection of friendships. 
    • Physical problems like extreme weight loss or weight gain due to the stress of the change in situation.
  • It all sounds overwhelming for sure but there are certainly things that both you and your ex-spouse can do to help you children adapt.
    • Far and away the number one way you can limit these issues for you child, is to work together with your ex-spouse.  This means cordial communications, where lines are open and there is a willingness by both of you to work as a team.  The problem with this one is that there is usually some anger, bitterness or resentment that lingers that gets in the way. 
    • If this is not possible then at the very least, do not put your kids in the middle where they have to choose sides.  Do not downplay your ex-spouse to your kids.  Unfortunately it could be happening on the other end and this is hard to deal with for sure.
    • Be consistent with the schedule of dropping off and picking up.  Once again this takes two people, but kids need consistency in order to feel safe and secure. 
    • Be consistent with your schedule while you have the kids.  This means consistent bedtimes and consistent times for play, schoolwork, and family time.  If kids can notice a consistency in your home, then at the very least they will feel secure. 
    • Coparenting counselors can help and certainly individual therapists for the adults or the kids can help as well if anyone is having a hard time getting over the hurt and the issues. 
  • Just remember the kids are your families legacy moving forward.  If you have had divorce in your family through past generations you can still work to break that cycle as best you can for the future generations in your family.    

Resources:

The Physiological Effects of Divorce on Children

Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode. 
  • If you liked this episode and believe that it would be beneficial to a friend, family member, or colleague, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.
  • The Remarried Life Facebook Group is a community of people just like you who get and give support.  Please join today!  ​

As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.