Struggles children of divorce face

Children coming from homes where there has been a divorce or separation face a number of challenges. Initial shock and trauma of the split, change of home, absence of one parent from their lives, financial instability and emotional stress from the loss of a home, custody battles between parents are some common struggles. Such unfortunate events are beyond the control and they end up feeling helpless, depressed, lonely and trapped.

Children often blame themselves for the split of their parents. They try to assume roles and responsibilities early on in their lives which are not theirs to begin with. In some situations, they try to ‘parent’ their parents, which is extremely unfair for them. In family disputes, they are expected to pick sides and are often blamed for picking one parent. Some face abandonment from one parent who leaves or disappears from their lives. Their view of relationships and family units gets distorted and can also lose faith in the institution of marriage.

Tips for parents

• Explain the situation clearly to your kids and take them into confidence.

• Don’t expect them to take sides. It is healthy for them to love both parents despite their differences.

• Don’t malign the other parent in front of them.

• Spend quality time with them and assure them of your constant support and presence in their lives.

• Avoid giving them responsibilities that don’t belong to them.

• Compassion and love will go a long way as far as their healing is concerned.

A reminder for the children

• You are not broken in any way. You are complete and whole, your family situation does not define you and your future.

• It is not your job to fix the problems in your parent’s lives.

• Your family situation is NOT your fault and there is nothing lacking in you as compared to other children.

• Just because your parents had a rough marriage doesn’t mean that you will too.

• Talk to peers or a professional for support.