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More children are okay after divorce than previously thought

Divorce has been said to be harmful for children but a new study is proving that this myth is wrong. A new study found that a majority of children with divorced parents do not experience any serious issues after their parents’ divorce.

The new study found that only a small number of children with divorced parents suffer serious problems or issues growing up or as adults. While only a small percentage of children are impacted in the long-run after their parent’s divorce, it is important for parents to understand what steps to take to help their children after divorce.

The research found that almost all children are affected by their parent’s divorce but many only have short-term issues like anxiety, shock, disbelief and anger. The study found that these feelings are usually gone after two years. However, some children end up suffering from longer negative effects from their parent’s divorce.

The children who are impacted by their parent’s divorce often suffer long-term effects from the stress associated with their parent’s divorce and family conflicts. The long-term effects include stress, depression or anxiety in some children. Some children affected by their parent’s divorce do not show any problems until they become adults.

The study found that 25 percent of adults with divorced parents had serious emotional, social or psychological troubles while adults with married parents only experienced these problems 10 percent of the time. Researchers said they were not sure if the problems were directly caused by divorce or improper parenting.

What can divorced parents do to prevent long-term issues from impacting their children? Below are a few tips for divorced parents:

  • Limit conflict with ex spouse or at least the child’s expose to conflict
  • Answer questions and clearly communicate with your children, especially during more emotional times
  • Monitor children’s activities and offer emotional support
  • Don’t be too strict or too permissive

Source: Salon, “Does divorce really traumatize children?” Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfield, March 19, 2013