children_divorceThe transition from married to divorce can be daunting for parents. Children may have their own worries regarding the process of divorce. The family dynamic is changing in a major way, so they may have concerns and fears regarding this major life change. Parents are well served by maintaining  a sense of security in their new situation and being aware of common worries regarding divorce.1.1.2

1. They will be poor – It is very likely that your financial situation will change after the dust clears from your divorce proceedings. You may be changing from a two income household to one with a single income. These changes are a normal and expected challenge during this time. It is up to you how much you reveal to your children about your new financial situation, but it is also your duty to make sure that their needs are met, and that they know that their needs will be met. Be sure to remind them that a person’s monetary worth has nothing to do with the quality of their character. This should keep them feeling secure and protected in their new environment. Your finances are not their burden to bear.

2. They will not see both parents or extended families regularly  – Unless your particular situation calls for it, assure your children that they will be seeing both parents. Always stay in contact with your co-parent to resolve any scheduling issues, so that your children will be secure in the fact that they will be given ample time with both parents.

3. General fears about moving – Some parents might choose to not sell the family home, but some families must sell.If you are, this is a time to prepare your children for a necessary move. They might be worried about leaving old friends behind, leaving the comfort of the home they grew accustomed to. Assure them that there will be growing pains, but together, you will make any new situation a change for growth and new experiences in a new place. Staying in contact with your co-parent about parenting time and moving arrangements is best.

4. Their friends or peers may make fun of them or look down on them – It is not unheard of for children to get teased or made fun of for their parents’ divorce. However, 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, so it is very likely that their peers have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience the same in their life, and will be sympathetic to your child’s situation. If their peers are being rude, or even cruel, your normal plan in dealing with bullying will likely suffice in this situation.

5. That the divorce is their fault – There are separate studies that suggest that divorce is more likely in a marriage with kids than without, and its true that children will change the nature of a marriage. No matter if having children changed your marriage or not is absolutely irrelevant — you still had children, you still decided to raise them, therefore, no matter what, it is not their fault. Full stop. You are not to project your resentment or insecurities on to them. Your job is to always keep them safe, secure and happy during this difficult process, and well after.

About Carol Mapp
Carol Mapp, LCSW, Integrated Healthworks, Arlington, TX, works with adolescents as well as adults. She has extensive experience in the school setting as a counselor, trainer, and educator.

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