A family climate in which certain dissensions occur between parents, quarrels, misunderstandings or in which silence is established, suggesting the occurrence of a rupture, is perceived by the child as a feeling of anxiety and anxiety, as a fear of a potential danger. As a result, although the parents avoid bringing their problems in front of the child, they try to hide these situations, they do not tell them what is happening, the child fully feels the tension and atmosphere in the family.
The tension in the face of a parent's divorce is not only transmitted through words, but is often perceived as gestures, as changes that occur in the family's life until then, as the disappearance of daily rituals, as disposition and reactions of family members.
Children are very attentive and sensitive to all these changes that occur and often surprise us with the accuracy of their observations regarding the condition of one parent.
What are the effects of divorce on children?
Cristina Calarasanu, a psychologist at the Center for Psychology of Action and Psychotherapy, helped us to better understand what is in the soul and mind of a child when attending an irremediable separation between parents. Here are the most important and intense effects of divorce on children:
Knowing that something is happening, but not telling anyone exactly what it is, hoping that you will catch yourself along the way can be extremely ambiguous and difficult to bear.
For the child, finding out becomes a concern and in the absence of certain information, he will build his own scenario about why a change occurs in his family, conflicts occur, one parent moves from home or moves to another. the room in the house.
When they attend heated discussions or when they feel that something is not right between their parents, the children often attribute their guilt, considering himself the reason why this happens, even if in reality it is not true. They think that they were "bad", that they did not behave properly, that they were disappointed or that their parents upset them.
An extremely difficult time is when the child will be forced to choose between the two parents. Whatever arguments he might give in favor of one or the other, he cannot divide his love into two and cannot be divided between the two.
The family is the guarantor of the child's stability and security. When changes occur, the whole universe of the child shifts and sometimes it is difficult to integrate these changes.
There are a number of changes that will mislead you:
• one of the parents will no longer live permanently with him;
• they will move to another house;
• can be moved to another school;
• you can move to another city;
• will have other friends;
• will have other colleagues;
• a new partner may appear in the life of the parent with whom he or she lives.
An expression of suffering and helplessness, anger appears as the only way to manifest and discharge mixed feelings and feelings. It can be directed to:
• both parents;
• to the parent considered "guilty";
• can be moved to family members (grandparents, cousins, brothers);
• or outside the family (friends, colleagues, educators, foreign persons).
Sadness is another expression of the child's suffering, sadness can take different forms:
• a withdrawal of the child from the social;
• lack of participation;
• to get involved;
• easy plans;
• an increase in sensitivity and irritability;
• a decrease in school results;
• the occurrence of repeated illnesses or ill conditions that do not have a medical cause, but which can be related to the family climate.
The departure of one of the parents, his disappearance from the daily plan, from the daily activities done together, from the habits founded in time, give the child the state of abandonment.
What he feels is that the parent is leaving permanently, that he will leave him forever, as if he were dead, that he will never return.
The inability to accept separation is often accompanied by the child's refusal to accept what is happening and to adapt to the new reality.
Thus, he behaves as if nothing had happened, talks about his parents as if they were not divorced, keeps a family as ghostly as he wanted and an ideal image of parents who do not they separated. Efforts can be made to reconcile the two parents, oppositions and vehement protests regarding the emergence of new partners in the parents' lives.
Violent manifestations of the child can occur both in relation to the others and to the person.
The child can talk ugly, hit, break or hit in an attempt to put on the tension and fear he feels. Aggression is one of the first symptoms of a tense or conflictive climate and one of the first ways for the child to express his or her suffering.
How do we help children overcome divorce?
It is important to prepare the child for what is about to happen.
Communicate how things are, in what situation is the relationship of his parents, what decision they have taken, why it is such a way to be near him and reduce the possibility of confusion and scenarios that will occur in his mind. Also, finding out what his opinion is and how he feels about what is happening are essential things you need to do to be with the child and help him to get over it.
Here are some other tricks you can try to reduce the effects of divorce on your child:
• do not spill your nerves on the child, nor charge him with burdens that are not related to him (quarrels with the former, financial worries, etc.);
• talk to him about what is happening; if you hide his truth and tell him that "dad is away for work" you will not solve anything, you will inevitably witness certain conflicts, conflicts and other problems of yours and if you feel that he does not understand, you are wrong; but he will be confused because he will not know what to believe, what you have been told or what he has heard;
• try not to change much of the child's routine (if you can not move him to another school, not move with the child in the house, etc.);
• do not speak ill of the ex-husband in front of the child (it does not charge him more conflict and does not create frustrations for him);
• Encourages the child to talk and maintain the relationship with the former husband, after all he is the father of the child and he is not to blame for your problems;
• Do not try to interrogate the child about what the ex-husband does, where, he goes, with whom he is seen - he is not a detective.
The moms from the Copilul.ro community also debated on the topic of divorce and its impact on children:
Maria: I think first of all we have to make sure that it is not in any form his fault all that happens and that we understand his feelings.
Alina05: The child feels the divorce, no matter how hard we try to make it happen. I speak from my own experience. I find it important to lessen the impact that divorce has on the child. I think we have to make him understand that sometimes things don't go the way we want and then the only way is separation. We must point out to him that he has NO fault for what happened. He must maintain contact with both parents, but this depends only on them.
Alexandra Mariana: Divorce is a trauma to children, even at a young age. We must explain to them that they are not guilty and we must make them understand that whenever they need we will be with them. We have to show them that maybe it is better so, that they are better separated from the bad, that maybe in the family environment they were not good with quarrels and scandals.
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