It is safe to assume that most children do not enjoy lengthy separations from a parent. When divorcing, the effects of separation from a parent may be even more pronounced.
For example, young children may fear that separation from a parent will last forever. Since few kids understand how divorce affects families long-term, they often experience psychological issues that last beyond divorce.
How do separation issues manifest?
All children have unique personalities and unique methods of coping with separation. Some recover quickly and lead happy lives, but others find it hard to overcome their psychological symptoms. Some of the parental separation effects kids of divorce may experience include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Aggression and withdrawal
- Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms
- Cognitive and social issues
- Poor psychological quality of life
Research also shows that many children with separation effects during their parents’ divorce carry them for a long time. For example, some children with separation issues experience schizophrenia or bipolar disorder later. Separation from fathers can also lead to the commission of violent offenses when kids become adults.
How can you help your children?
Being aware that emotional, behavioral and mental issues could plague your children is the first step.
Before your divorce ends, talk with your co-parent about a child custody arrangement that minimizes parental separation as much as possible. In the early months and years following the divorce, limiting separation can help your children feel more secure.
It is also wise to tell your kids about the divorce and how it will affect their time with each parent as early as possible. Avoid waiting until the last minute and blindsiding them with what they are sure to perceive as bad news.
New York child custody laws allow parents some flexibility in creating a beneficial arrangement. Learning more about these laws can help you protect your kids from psychological harm.