Parents in Bloomfield Hills who are going through a divorce often want to protect their children as much as possible. They may wonder if it there is a good age to divorce or if they should even stay together for the kids. It is no secret that divorce will affect a child, even if the final outcome is beneficial for all involved. The following is a brief overview of how children of various ages will react to a divorce.
Children less than three-years-old
While very young children may remember their parent’s divorce, once they grow a little older these memories fade. However, children under age three may be more fussy, inconsolable or clingy when one parent is no longer around. Certain milestones may not be met, or regression of former milestones may occur. Parents can help their children by maintaining a consistent routine.
Children age three to five
Preschool aged children ask a lot of questions as they start to navigate their place in the world around them. When their parents divorce, they may feel scared. They may cry, have problems, feel like the divorce is their fault or insist that their parents stay together. Like younger children, keeping a stable routine can help. Parents should also avoid fighting in front of their child.
Children age six to 12
Elementary school age children are old enough to remember when their family was intact and happy before the divorce. They may wonder if the divorce is their fault and may promise to be “good” if their parents will stay together. They may also question whether one or both parents love them. They may be depressed, angry, withdrawn or anxious. Parents can help by being amiable with one another and work out the details of their divorce privately. Therapy can also help these children make sense of the divorce and see it as a good thing.
Teenagers are old enough to understand why their parents are divorcing. If their parents are constantly fighting at home, they may even feel a sense of relief and resolution when the divorce is finalized. They may idealize the past when their family was happy and intact, but they may also understand that their life will be better post-divorce. Parents can help by listening to their teens thoughts and concerns and speaking honestly with them.
Learn more about divorce
Divorce can provide the fresh start many spouses need, and thus, can make them better parents. While children may suffer in the short-term, once the divorce is complete, if their parents are amicable towards one another and stability returns to their life, they may be ok with their parents’ divorce. Our firm’s website has more information about child custody that readers of this blog may find interesting.