Divorce is difficult on all impacted by it. The children of divorce have significant fears and challenges to meet to remain healthy and happy. A significant part of couples counseling often focuses on monitoring child-psychology. Here are some major concerns that a child faces during divorce.
Fear of abandonment
Whenever a marriage is ended the children may bear the most powerful emotional scars. In such a situation it is not uncommon for the kids to feel neglected. As the parents are struggling with their own emotional readjustment, either parent may not meet children’s needs. Depending on various factors, the degree of this fear can vary.
Fear of being distanced from one parent
This is a concern that will naturally concern children when their parents are divorced. There is no way in which a child can live with both the parents after their divorce and sooner or later kids have to come to terms with this realization. Naturally, a fear of losing one of the parents occurs.
Making a choice between parents
If the child has reached a certain age, the fear of being distanced from one of the parents is simple. The child will have to choose the custodial parent. This can turn out to be an emotionally draining decision. This is also one decision that will greatly influence the future of the child.
Who will provide and how well?
This is one concern in children of divorce which directly relates to one of the basic human insecurities. At the back of their mind, kids become insecure about their own well being once they hear talks about their parents divorce.
Concern over the fate of the other parent
As a natural instinct, children love both their parents. In a situation where they have primary contact with only one of them, they will naturally be worried about the other. The fear is often more prominent in the case of toddler and younger children.
Fear of embarrassment among friends and society
It is natural for a child to be fearful about friends and other members of society will react to them as a member of a divorced family.
No more ‘family-time’
Memories of the family spending time together are etched pretty well in the minds of children. There can be an immense fear in children from the sheer realization of the fact that these times will never return.
Fear of non-compatibility with a parents new partner
Very often a divorced parent will begin dating soon after the divorce. This can be very difficult for children to process. In the worst cases children may fear (or actually receive) harsh treatment or abuse from the parent’s new partner. Fears may escalate when a parent decides to remarry.
Fear of being dubbed an object of pity
Every modern child wants to appear smart and confident in his/her circles. A divorce between parents can deal a serious blow to the public image of the child wherein most of the occasions, the child can be treated with utmost sympathy. Children more often than not, reprove of such treatment.
If you are considering divorce, or are already divorced, you may want to seek consultation to insure you are aware of how your children may react to the marital separation. A couples counselor may be able to help an individual parent or couple become more aware of the impact of divorce on their children. Further, the counselor may provide guidance on how to minimize psychological harm to the children of divorce.
Michael Winters is a Psychologist in Houston focusing on marriage counseling and therapy. Michael received his PhD from the University of Memphis and has been practicing since 1991.