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How Children Are Affected By Divorce at Different Ages

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney parents childrenThe breakdown of a marriage is a stressful, difficult experience, not only for the spouses, but also for their children. When parents decide to get divorced, it may ultimately be the best decision for their family, but it can also affect their children in a variety of ways. In order to protect children and provide them with the support they need, it is important to understand the impact that divorce can have on them and how these effects vary depending on children’s age.

Babies and Toddlers

Small children are still developing cognitively, and they will struggle to understand what is happening when their parents break up. However, they do recognize emotions, and they will be affected by the tension and conflict between parents. They may become irritable, they might have difficulties eating and sleeping, and their development may slow or regress.

Parents can help small children get through divorce by maintaining a consistent routine and giving their children plenty of attention, close contact, and quality time.

School-Age Children

Children in preschool and elementary school will often struggle to understand why their parents are divorcing, and they may feel that they are to blame. They are likely to experience anxiety about the changes in their lives, and they often act out and struggle in school.

Parents should reassure school-age children that the divorce is not their fault and encourage them to talk about their emotions. They should maintain consistent parenting time schedules and spend quality time with their children whenever possible. 

Adolescents

Teenagers are likely to feel anger about their parents’ divorce, and they may blame one parent or try to take advantage of both parents. They may also become withdrawn or experience a great deal of worry about the future and their family’s financial problems.

Parents of teenagers should be sure to communicate with their children, pay attention to how they are doing in school, and maintain consistent rules. They may also want to consider having children attend counseling to work through their feelings.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

No matter children’s age, it is incredibly important for to protect them from conflict between their parents, ensuring that they do not become involved in any personal or legal disputes. If you need help coming to a resolution in your divorce that protects your rights and your relationship with your children, the experienced, compassionate attorneys of Anderson & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the legal help you need. Contact our Wheaton divorce attorneys at 630-653-9400 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/the-impact-of-divorce-on-children-of-different-ages_b_6820636.html

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/children/the-different-age-stages-as-they-relate-to-divorce-228.shtml

https://www.parents.com/parenting/divorce/coping/age-by-age-guide-to-what-children-understand-about-divorce/

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