Remarried couples have a lot to deal with, especially if they are taking their kids into a new relationship. These kids will be reeling from a broken home and may have psychological and emotional issues. Their behavior might also cause tension in the new home.
It is best that both parties work together to alleviate the issues that a child might be experiencing from going through a divorce.
Adjusting to a Second Marriage
Most divorced people move on from their previous marriage into a new union within five years. Therefore, children will tolerate changes relating to their family dynamics. But often, both parents will enter a second marriage, which comes with stepsiblings, requiring even more adjustments at home.
Second marriages are even more likely to fail than first marriages. This means that children sometimes have to tolerate multiple marriages, separations, and divorces.
Psychological Effects of Divorce
Children can suffer from the emotional and psychological effects of divorce. This is a risk you take when you split a family unit. The bigger the upheaval a child goes through, the higher the risk of mental and behavioral issues.
Divorce amplifies the possibility for psychological health problems in both children and adolescents. No matter how old they are, or even what their gender is, research has proven that the children of divorcees go through added mental problems.
One such issue may be adjustment disorder, but this typically rectifies itself within months. There is also the possibility of your child experiencing anxiety, anger, and depression.
Behavioral Effects of Divorce
Children also suffer behavioral problems when their families split. This can carry through to second marriages from a previous marriage.
You might see instances of impulsive behavior, delinquency, or conduct disorders. These are generally categorized as externalizing problems. Your child might also get into fights, arguments, or minor disagreements with their peers.
Academic Effects of Divorce
Because of the disruption in the home life, the effects of divorce will also play out in a child’s academic life. Researchers have found that children from a previous marriage oftentimes fail their achievement tests.
They might also indulge in truancy or drop out of school entirely.
Risky Behavior Because of Divorce
Children from a blended family can become more willful and even indulge in drugs, alcohol, or smoking. They will crave attention and likely emulate their friends’ risky behavior. Many of these kids will start to smoke marijuana and may even traffic and sell drugs.
Another horrible side effect for children from broken families is that they become promiscuous and indulge in sex at an early age, especially if their parents divorced when the children were still too young.
Divorce Effects on Adult behavior
Some children will suffer from psychological issues that follow them into adulthood. These issues include psychiatric hospitalizations, substance use, and mental health problems.
Divorce statistics show that having to deal with divorce, second marriages, and their parents’ separation cause children to become less likely to succeed in life, than if they were from a more stable family unit. This will filter into their relations, academics, and work life.
Having to deal with divorce as a child causes adults to have inferior learning and professional attainment, as well as increased instances of job and financial problems.
People who come from divorced homes usually have a higher rate of divorce themselves.
Strategies to Minimize the Effects of Divorce on Your Child
A parent must understand that how a child adjusts to divorce is greatly dependent on them, the parent. Parents must use strategies to mitigate the psychological, emotional, academic, and other effects of divorce.
Let peace reign. This is important for your child’s emotional stability. Find a way to live in harmony with your ex-spouse. Let the problems of your previous marriage remain behind you and move forward in peace. Your children take their cues from you. If you are constantly fighting and arguing, your children will become distressed. Threats and screams will filter into the behavior of your child, and they will adopt the same behavior pattern.
Get a mediator if the issues seem insurmountable. But don’t fight in front of your kids. Also, leave your children out of the fights. Never put them in the midst of an argument. Don’t make them take sides. And never let them feel as if it is their fault. All of that negativity will make them more depressed, anxious, and angry.
Exude positivity and love around your child. Show them affection. Reassure them that everything will be fine. Support their academic and social endeavors and stay up-to-date on what is happening with them. But also ensure that discipline does not slip. Keep their behavior in check and show a unified front in this regard. Do not encourage delinquency.
During a divorce, it is important that you watch your children closely and monitor their behavior. Teach them and help them with coping and handling all the changes that come from going through a divorce. Talk with and to them. Find out what is on their minds and reassure them as often as possible. But if necessary, get your child professional help, if matters are escalating.
Remember, both you and your child will need support to deal with issues that derive from a previous marriage.