Children will experience varying reactions to the divorce of their parents, according to a report published on Nov. 28 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The variables impacting those reactions include their degree of emotional development and age. Behavioural changes are common during the first year after a divorce or separation and may persist for as long as three years. The report goes on to say special occasions, like birthdays and holidays, may bring back the sense of loss, even years later.
The report suggests that parents consult with a pediatrician. Pediatricians are able to understand a child’s emotions based on their behaviour and may be able to shed some light for parents on what their children are feeling. Parents are further urged to keep an open dialogue with their children, and answer their questions honestly, in an age-appropriate manner. Maintaining routines, where possible, can also help a child adjust to the new family situation.
Doing what’s best for the children should be top of mind for all parents going through a divorce. One of the best ways of doing that is by making arrangements together instead of fighting over each decision. By working with lawyers who utilize collaborative law in British Columbia, it may be possible to come to a series of agreements that work for everyone involved.
Source: aap.org, “AAP Clinical Report Details How To Help Children Through Divorce, Separation“, Accessed on Nov. 28, 2016