The parents’ guide to talking about divorce

Divorce can affect children in a big way. There’s no way around that, but there are proven strategies to reduce the effects on their mental health. Employ these six steps to help kids adjust. 

By Monika Roots, MD

December 18, 2021

These strategies can help big changes

If you’re going through a divorce, you’re likely going through an emotional rollercoaster. The stages of divorce are actually very similar to the stages of grief. But you’re not the only one who will need to process the life changes — divorce affects kids emotionally in a big way, too. 

Research has documented that parental divorce or separation is associated with an increased risk for child and adolescent adjustment problems, including academic difficulties (e.g., lower grades), disruptive behaviors, and depressed mood.

Many parents grapple with fear, frustration, and guilt about how divorce will affect their children. However, parents can help prepare their kids to adjust to the changes stemming from a divorce or separation. By employing these steps, you can reduce the effects on their mental health, and everyone can begin to heal.

No matter what happens, you’ll always be their parent, and with the steps above, a little time, and a lot of love, you’ll all be OK.

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