illinois divorce child effects - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog
Children and Divorce: Nine Things to Do and Not to Do
In 2011, over six million U.S children were coping with living with divorced parents. Many children may need help getting through their parents’ divorce. As reported on webmd.com, family therapist, Isolina Ricci, PhD, author of Mom’s House. Dad’s House, suggests using the following nine tips to lessen the negative effect of divorce on children:
- Do not denigrate your spouse in the eyes of your child.
- Do not use your children as substitute therapists. Don’t confide in them about adult matters such as money worries, for example.
- Do not stray away from family routines. Try to keep change to a minimum.
- Ask only general questions about time spent in your ex-spouse’s home. Don’t be meddlesome.
- Don’t give in to feelings of guilt you may have over the divorce. Remain the parent you always were. Don’t shower your child with gifts or privileges in order to “make up” for the divorce.
- Do go look for help from a family therapist or mediator if you and your ex-spouse cannot get along without being hostile to one another.
The Real Impact of Marriage and Divorce on Kids
According to Psychology Today, a popular blogger and best-selling author recently declared that divorce is selfish and immature, almost always bad for kids, a sign of mental illness, and something done by “dumb people” more so than well-educated people. These are very strong statements, but that doesn’t mean they are correct. Based on the aforementioned points, it can be concluded that a married couple, even an unhappily married couple, should stay together “for the kids.” This brings up an important question, however: Does divorce cause more damage to children than an unhappy marriage?
Divorce is difficult on everyone involved, including children, and children from divorced parents tend to experience more behavioral and/or school-related problems, but does that mean that parents should stay together even though they are unhappy? The short answer is no. Factors that create issues for kids during/after a divorce can also exist during a marriage. If there is a high level of conflict between parents, it will affect their children.
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