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Epic Wellness Clinic

We provide psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families

The Real Cost of Divorce to a Child

There is nothing more difficult than being separated from the one you love. If a child has been separated from someone they love by divorce, it is natural for them to miss that person, to question why they’ve been separated, or to feel hurt and angry.  How do you, as a parent, navigate this emotional terrain, not only for yourself, but for your child?

Some helpful tips:

    • Children need to know what is happening and how they will be affected by your separation. This includes specific details about how much time they will be spending with each person they love.
    • Children should never be asked who they want to live with, or to take sides in one parent’s anger toward the other. This presents a loyalty dilemma that will only confuse and upset them.
    • Children need to hear age-appropriate reasons for your divorce. They do not need to hear about your anger or your blame.
    • Children will be hurt and angry after a divorce, so be patient with them. Dealing with separation is usually a much newer idea for them than it is for you.
    • Children will question. Be prepared for various forms of questioning. Sometimes simply acknowledging your child’s sadness, anger, frustration, and other emotions may go a long way toward helping them accept the many changes in their lives. Acknowledging their feelings without passing judgement or making light of it (“I see you are upset,” instead of “Don’t be upset, silly.”) or (“I know this is hard for you,” instead of “You’ll get over it.”) will help a child accept change.
    • Children need to be able to love and admire both parents. When one parent is constantly put down by the other, regardless of how valid the criticism may be, the child—who is part of the criticized parent—feels put down as well.
    • Children need to feel empowered to make some decisions. After all, they believe that they did not have an input in this decision, but their lives are affected the most by your divorce.

Navigating the emotional terrain of divorce is difficult, but not impossible. There is help out there for you and for your children.

Epic Wellness Clinic in Miami Beach has licensed psychotherapists and counselors with extensive experience working with families. Remember both of you are, and always will be, their parents, so this journey will still have to be taken together.

4 thoughts on “The Real Cost of Divorce to a Child

  1. when parents get divorced, They should wait till the child is a certain age to tell him or her what they are going through. As the child gets older and understands more they could explain why they are going through a divorce.

  2. This is a great topic, because a lot of parents mainly in this generation can be negligent to their child’s mental health. They don’t feel that they’re inclined to include their children on the circumstance of they’re disaccord. Not knowing that it could be chronic to the child’s state of mind.

  3. My parents divorced when I was around the age of 7. This affected me to a point where I stopped doing well in school. At that age, things became much more clear to me but I believed that I was at fault at the time. A child should not have to go through that. Thought the parents make their own decisions they should speak to the child about why they divorced and the problems in which occurred for it to happen. If not, this could place guilt on a child who still doesn’t understand.

  4. This topic is very helpful and important for parents who need help with children with mental health. This should go public so the world can see it and make kids be more healthy.

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