Divorce can affect your children at all ages, whether they are under the age of 5 or if they are over 25. However, divorce will likely have the most impact on children when they are younger, still living at home, and have strong emotional attachments to each parent and the family unit.
Divorce is simply a fact of life, and while it can be a painful process, it will usually result in fulfilling the best interests of everyone involved. It is important that you maintain good communication with your children through this entire process to prevent them from becoming confused or worried about the changes going on.
How can divorce impact children?
Children are far more perceptive that you might think. Therefore if you believe that your 8-year-old has no idea that you and your spouse are having relationship problems and that things are about to change, you may be mistaken.
Children are very sensitive to changes in the relationship of their parents, and it can cause them to respond in different ways. Every child is different, however, young children tend to increase their dependent behavior and become more attached, while adolescents show a bigger detachment and become more independent as a result.
How do I talk to my young children about the changes that are about to happen?
No matter how old your children are, it is a good idea to be appropriate and frank about the changes they should expect. Your language and details shared in regard to the situation can vary according to the age and maturity level of your child. It is important that you give them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have. You can soothe their worries and fears by showing that both their parents will still be there for them and continue to love them just as before. It helps if you and your divorcing spouse can have the conversation together and show a united front.
If you are facing a divorce in Hawaii, it is also important that you think about child custody arrangements. Make sure to plan ahead and conduct thorough research.