Divorce is a painful experience for everyone involved. Let’s face it, breaking up a family is never an easy experience. And while the divorcing spouses are suffering through the emotional rollercoaster of their break-up, they may be in denial about the affect the divorce is having on their children.
A recent report that surveyed 1,000 adults and 100 children reveals some interesting statistics:
From the children:
• Only 14 percent of children felt they could be honest with their parents about how upsetting the divorce was to them.
• Nearly 40 percent said they hid their feelings because they did not want to upset their parents, while another five percent felt there was no point in telling their parents how they felt because the parents were too wrapped up in themselves.
• About 9 percent felt forced into having to care for their parent during the divorce.
• More than one-third said one parent had attempted to turn them against the other parent.
• Approximately 30 percent of children under 18 described themselves as devastated by their parents divorce
• About nine percent believed the divorce meant their parents didn’t love them or that they had let their parents down. And 13 percent blamed themselves for their parents’ divorce.
• Almost a third of the children respondents reported that they witnessed their parents fighting.
• Eight percent turned to alcohol or drugs to cope.
• And, 11 percent self-harmed and six percent considered suicide.
• Only 18 percent were happy their parents had divorced.
From the parents:
• Only five percent of the surveyed parents realized their children blamed themselves for the split
• 10 percent thought their kids were relieved they left their partner.
• Only 10 percent of parents realized their child had seen them fighting.
• Although 30 percent of the children reported a parent had attempted to turn them against the other parent, only eight percent of the parents admitted doing so.
• Furthermore, only 10 percent of the parents knew their children were hiding their true feelings.
These and other results in the report make a good case for you to make an extra effort to really talk to your children about an impending divorce. And to finding positive ways to help your children to cope the emotional trauma of the divorce.
It is important for parents to realize that even though they are feeling emotionally vulnerable during a divorce, that they are not alone in that trauma. No matter what, your children will always need you and rely on you for stability and reassurance.
Alternatives to a warring divorce process
Both mediated and collaborative divorce offers a safe space for your children to have a voice in your divorce and may be workable options for your situation. To discuss your divorce and the legal avenues available to you, contact an experienced Long Island divorce attorney today.