According to a new study, the vast majority of children experience no lasting negative emotional, social or academic effects as the result of their parents' divorce. In fact, the kids of parents who remain in a troubled marriage seem to be negatively affected at the same rate as children of divorced parents.
Specifically, the research indicates that about 85 percent of kids whose parents divorce are not negatively affected by the split. Interestingly, the same number - about 15 percent - of children whose parents remain married despite a high level of conflict experience negative psychological or academic issues during childhood.
To compare, about 10 percent of children from non-divorced families report those negative effects, meaning that divorce or high levels of marital conflict only raise a child's risk of psychological issues by about 5 percent.
Despite these numbers, however, most San Jose parents will continue to worry about the effects of their divorce on their children, and rightly so. So below are a few ways to minimize the potential risk of harm to children of divorce.
Although it may be difficult, parents will need to work together to provide their children with clear, consistent messaging about the split and what it means for the kids and their lives. Reinforce the following: that the divorce is not their fault, that it doesn't really even have anything to do with them, and that they will continue to be loved and cared for by both parents following the split. Do not assign blame or share unnecessary details about the divorce or the events leading up to it.
In addition, parents should seek help for any emotional issues they are dealing with to ensure that they do not unknowingly inflict them on their kids.
Source: Cary Citizen, "Your Health: How Does Divorce Affect Children?" Sept. 11, 2012
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