When parents divorce, one of their main concerns is often the welfare of their children. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, you may be wondering how this change could affect your children.
Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward. In some cases, divorce can cause depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, conduct disorders, impulsive behavior, risk-taking behavior and/or poor academic performance. However, the way your children react to divorce could depend on their ages, personalities, support systems and other factors.
One of the more surprising factors that may affect a child’s reaction is a family’s wealth. Wealthy, well-educated, well-planned families are typically expected to be more stable than other families. However, a study has shown that pre-divorce stability could lead to more negative divorce consequences for children.
The study’s findings indicate divorce can shorten the academic career of children from stable families more than it does for children from families that were already high-conflict before divorce.
This may be because the children from the study’s stable families did not expect their parents to divorce. This could mean they felt blindsided when they were told about the divorce, and they did not have adequate time to prepare for the news or the changes that divorce can bring.
If you are worried about the effect your divorce could have on your children, there are several actions you can take to help them cope. Consider being mindful about when and how you tell them about your divorce. Consider also aiming to co-parent peacefully, taking the time to reassure your children and seeking professional help when needed.