While many divorcing parents may be concerned about the long-term effects that ending a relationship may have on their children, a recent article from Salon.com suggests that most children recover from divorce just fine. Of the 1.5 million children in the United States whose parents divorce every year, a relatively small percentage will experience long-term negative effects.
The post suggests that most children will rapidly recover from the shock of being told their parents are divorcing. Many children will experience anger, anxiety, shock and disbelief–but they will recover from these short-term reactions quickly. Most children will no longer be feeling these negative emotions toward their parents’ divorce by the end of the second year after a divorce.
The article also suggests that while parents may fear that their failed relationship will affect their children later in life, this actually happens pretty infrequently. Most children of divorcing parents will grow into well-adjusted adults.
The best way to keep the negative effects of divorce at a minimum with children is to limit the conflict associated with the divorce–or at least limit the child’s exposure to divorce-related fighting. While it can be scary to face a divorce for a number of reasons, especially when it comes to children, long-term negativity is not inevitable.
Source: Salon.com, Does Divorce Really Traumatize Children?, by Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfield, March 19, 2013