How Do Children Adapt to Divorce?
If you are a parent and are considering filing for divorce, you are probably concerned about how the divorce will affect your child. Divorce is a challenging obstacle for anyone to overcome, and children are no exception. However, the good news is that research shows that children are remarkably resilient and with special care, children whose parents divorce can be just as happy and successful as those children whose parents stayed together.
Research Leaves Divorced Parents Hopeful
Distinguished psychologist Constance Ahrons conducted a 20-year study about children of divorce. Through her research, she found that about 80 percent of children of divorce are able to adapt to the divorce and lead happy, successful lives afterward. Put another way, the majority of children whose parents get divorced do not experience permanent damaging effects on their mental and physical wellbeing. Another piece of evidence comes from developmental psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington from the University of Virginia. She, through a study of 2,500 children of divorce, came to similar conclusions about the effect of divorce on children. In fact, the vast majority of research by child development experts and psychologists have found that divorce alone does not hurt children’s social development, mental health, or school performance in the long run.
How You Can Help Your Child Be Successful
A meta-study by child development expert and Cambridge University professor Michael Lamb spells out what most experts believe children need to be well-adjusted and happy. The study, called Mothers, Fathers, Families, and Circumstances: Factors Affecting Children's Adjustment, explains that children do need a close relationship with both parents. However, this relationship can occur even if the parents are not together romantically. Whether in separate homes or the same home, children need guidance and support from their parents. Lamb found that in addition to spending quality time with parents, children need stability and consistency regarding discipline and social support as well. In a country where the meaning of the word “family” is rapidly changing, many parents are relieved to know that children do not require the quintessential nuclear family in order to thrive.
Call Us for Help
Ending a marriage as a parent is extremely challenging, but you do not have to do it alone. If you are planning to divorce with children, an Illinois family law attorney can help. For a confidential consultation of your case at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC call 630-665-7300 today.