For many parents in Texas, there will be sleepless nights in anticipation of telling their child that mom and dad are getting divorced. Many parents fear that the child will invariably be irreparably damaged by the spilt. However, many studies find that this is inaccurate. While divorce will not necessarily be easy for children, it does not have to be permanently damaging the way many parents in Texas fear.
Two studies conducted in university settings, one by a psychologist and the other by a sociologist, examined both the short-term and long-term impacts of divorce on children. Both studies conclude that divorce does not have to be a situation that leads to serious, damaging and lasting negative impacts on children.
In fact, one of the studies found that while experiencing sadness, disbelief, anxiety and related feelings are initially very common for many children experiencing a change like divorce to their family unit, these feelings often dissipate within two years. The other study found that there were only small levels of difference in the various stages from adolescent years through teenage years regarding emotional, relationship and behavioral problems in children from families of divorce compared to children where the parents remain married.
Divorce can mean a happier set of circumstances for parting spouses, which could in turn mean happier, more present parenting for the child. The children that cope the best following a divorce in Texas are those that receive emotional parental support, financial support and social support during and after a divorce. Being honest and clear, yet present and supportive about a divorce can help a child work through a difficult transition so that they can continue to have happy childhood memories.
Source: Salon, “Does divorce really traumatize children?” Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeild, Marcg 19, 2013