Family Issues

10 Facts About True Love

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Love is pure. Love is kind as the old saying goes and true love is the greatest love of all. Well, sort of. Real love in books or movies can be magical, but the reality is a lot more nuanced than your favorite fairy tale. As anyone can attest, approaching love should also come with a level head, and the following facts are listed to help you know more about the love you seek.

True Love Is About Two People That Becomes One But Retaining Your Identity

Don’t seek to be someone’s other half or vice versa. You shouldn’t be completing each other. You need to be yourself. Retain your interests, hobbies, and friends to maintain your identity in the relationship intact. This will keep things interesting for you and your partner.

Emotional connection, a bond that holds partners together in a relationship, is one of the most important strengths for couples to have. Without a strong emotional connection, relationships can easily drift apart. — Angela Bisignano, PhD

True Love Is Freely Shared And Given

Your partner shouldn’t be making demands for you to change in a relationship; likewise, you shouldn’t demand change from your lover or partner either. Love should also be about acceptance through the highs and lows because coming into a relationship should assume as much. Share yourself without expecting something in return. Give love freely and without conditions because that’s how you can be real.

True Love Is Liberating

Love is being able to be yourself to your partner freely. Whether you’re at your ugliest or messiest, true love sees beauty through all of it. It’s a step towards the full acceptance of each other and shows one another how intense your love is for your partner.

True Love Is A Two-Way Street

True love doesn’t keep score – love should be exchanged freely between two consenting partners. Do not use it as a bargaining chip in exchange for favors nor use it sparingly to reward good behavior. True love is not currency. It is a two-way street, though, which you have to get used to for the long haul.

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When you share your genuine self with someone else and they respond with interest and attraction, it can be intoxicating! As your relationship deepens, you will feel loved for the “real” you, not some image you have been projecting. — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD

True Love Is Founded On Friendship

It’s an old cliché for best friends to fall in love. While not always true in real life, it helps to be good friends with your partner. The relationship is not just about being lovers. To help it grow and prosper, you two should also be friends. You have to enjoy each other’s company and laugh at each other’s jokes. With this, you can have it last for a lifetime.

True Love Endures In Its Commitment

Love can be fleeting in an immature relationship, but true love can outlast those seemingly trivial things that ended those past relationships. There is real commitment to see past the troubles and grow against the tides and the obstacles. Also, it’s sustenance in itself. You won’t be interested in anyone else because a relationship founded on true love is all you really need.

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Generosity and compassion flourish in those who have felt loved, leading them to touch the lives of others. — Alex Afram, PhD

Love Yourself First

Finally, you must be able to love yourself first before loving someone else. Know who you are – your temperaments, your hopes, and aspirations, your passion – so that you can identify someone compatible with you. You can only honestly give what you have on hand in the first place, so love yourself first before being able to share with someone who deserves it.

Dealing With An Anxiety Disorder Within The Family

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Anxiety Disorders can be particularly straining to family relationships. Most of the time, anxiety disorder symptoms can go by unnoticed aggravating the signs for the victims and affecting their relationships with family members, household routines, and even finances.

Dealing with anxiety disorders can be difficult as the recovery process is lengthy. Also, people who are eager to help, like a parent, sibling, or other close relatives, maybe misinformed on how to address or support someone suffering from the disorders. For example, when a person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder would need some space due to impending anxiety or panic attack, people within the person with SAD would not leave the room because they are worried. This is aggravating the anxiety attack of that person who has it.

It’s not uncommon for parents to see their children as extensions of their own selves. This may lead parents to try to get their own needs met through their children. — Johannes Kieding, LCSW

It would do well to understand what anxiety disorders can do to a loved one. It is also necessary to understand some things that can be done to help your mother, father, sibling, or relative in case he gets an anxiety trigger. This post seeks to do that with the following notes.

Just a quick run-through, here are the most common anxiety disorders – generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder (panic attacks), separation anxiety, agoraphobia, specific phobia, and selective mutism.

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Effects Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders has several psychological and psychosocial consequences that can be just as serious as physical ailments. It can destroy happy moments, family occasions, and other things, but you have to be understanding.

Anyway, a couple of known examples are:

  • Anxiety Disorders can disrupt regular family routines. Special consideration will need to be taken for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, often requiring other family members to fully carry responsibilities like household routines, paying bills, or taking care of children.

Children experience a great deal of anxiety when they live with constant parental discord. In fact, in many situations, children do better when they relate to each parent alone in a healthier environment. — Meri Wallace LCSW

  • Anxiety Disorders can keep you from maintaining a career which hinders your way to earn. Those with anxiety disorders may have difficulty finding or keeping a job so that it may cause a financial burden on the family.
  • Anxiety Disorders can destroy your social life. Patients will be reluctant to participate in social activities, which can put a strain on family dynamics. Partners can also feel lonely if the patient becomes distant.
  • Anxiety Disorder will affect your emotional wellness. Anger, resentment, and guilt may spur from dealing with the effects of anxiety disorders. Children particularly may feel neglected or abandoned.

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Using the art of being tuned in to your children’s emotions – Listening carefully, Acknowledging and Accepting their feelings-respond appropriately thereby reducing the risk of trauma. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

How To Provide Support For Your Loved One

Recovery can be taxing, but family members can help the process by providing support, being more aware of symptoms, and creating a conducive environment for healing. The following are points to be considered:

  • Be more flexible and patient in adjusting plans and routines
  • Be encouraging and positively reinforce healthy behavior. Acknowledge small achievements without being patronizing.
  • Manage expectations during stressful times.
  • Promote treatment and good habits. Remind them to keep appointments and medication. Set realistic goals and don’t be too critical if these aren’t achieved.
  • Be understanding. Read on materials to understand the disorder better and be accepting of behaviors that may not be understandable at the time.

Recovering from anxiety disorders can be long and taxing to the individual and their families – however, it is treatable with enough support and encouragement. It may be overwhelming to deal with, but you can look forward to improvements in relationships, career, and general well-being at the end of the ordeal.

Through the Eyes of Innocence: The Damaging Impact of Witnessing Parental Discord

 

When it comes to arguments and conflicts, parents are not exempted. In fact, disagreements come so often from families that it’s no longer big news when you hear some kid wallow about his or her parents fighting.

 

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Responsible parenthood means that you are aware of the devastating consequences your hurtful words and actions can bring to your children. What seems to be a fruitful and enjoyable childhood becomes a nightmare, scarring and debilitating them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, it is always best to consider the massive, damaging impact of you and your partner arguing in front of your kids.

One of the biggest surprises in my research was evidence that for some children, news of their parents’ upcoming separation constitutes an actual physical trauma. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

Before It’s Too Late

For the sake of your relationship and connection with your significant other and the sake of your kids’ well-being, keep your squabbles private. Because if you purposely dispute in front of your children for the sake of showing them who’s right and wrong, the following adverse results may happen:

 

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  1. Developing Insecurities, Guilt, And Shame

Children believe that home is where the heart is; however if animosity is ruining their haven of love and affection, kids will eventually become frightened, helpless, and anxious. Usually, kids would think that hostility within the house is their fault and would start feeling guilty. Development of insecurities, guilt, and shame does not go away quickly and affects your children as they turn to adults.

 

  1. Severed Self-Esteem

Feelings of guilt, shame, and insecurity may have this impression on your children that you don’t want them or they are unworthy of affection; this thought is damaging and creates a permanent imprint in your children’s personality. As the child grows, these feelings are then reflected in your kid’s professional and personal relationships.

As an adult, the engulfed child becomes an adult obsessed with relationships, demanding others meet all their needs without taking responsibility for meeting their own needs. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

According to a particular report, kids who regularly witness parents who are fighting or arguing find it challenging to process contradictions that are not positively addressed by their parents. Kids think that they must be the reason why their parents disagreed in the first place.

 

  1. Health And Academics Are Severely Affected

Instead of being focused on their health and academics, your children’s minds are more occupied in processing the shouting and struggling they saw the night before. When there is discord within the house, children’s performance at school is adversely affected and would require them to exert more effort in concentrating which leads them to stress and pressure. When the mind is overworked from balancing conflict and academics, the body becomes unstable to the point of having lower immunity from chronic physical or mental illnesses.

 

  1. Perception Of Love Is Tarnished

For children, a home is a refuge filled with tenderness, respect, and security. Therefore, the moment they witness their parents fighting countless of times, their concept of what a home should be is shattered, and their minds start to drift the opposite of their first impression. Trust issues begin to occur especially when dealing with other people. Children would think that since their sources of love and affection are passively hurting them, it becomes worse with other people. This event will then make them more suspicious and pessimistic about other people, intensely crippling their social and people skills.

Most parents hope for their children to grow up behaving with decency, emotional openness, affection, non-defensiveness, and other positive attributes. It’s crucial for parents to model these qualities and behaviors for their children. — Johannes Kieding, LCSW

  1. Behavioral And Mental Disorders

One of the primary concerns with parental discord is how it dramatically affects a child’s behavior and mental well-being. Children have weak coping mechanisms that when they witness or even hear their parents shouting at each other or propelling things at each other, they feel drained and inadequate. This leads to developmental issues such as having reckless behaviors like bullying or getting into school fights or being loud and rowdy. On the other hand, some children are withdrawn and become introverted that even minor social contact makes them feel uneasy.

 

Severe cases show that children who have experienced chronic disharmony within their homes develop mental illnesses like ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, kids who are a product of unstable, unfriendly home environments are more likely to become addicts as adults.

 

These tendencies are rooted in the fact that discord directly affects children’s brain development. Kids who grew up in upsetting households developed increased chances of vigilance in assessing their settings and potentially preparing themselves for any unwanted and stressful occurrences. This condition of being always alert is evident through a child’s processing and reacting to specific emotions.

 

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The Takeaway

Parents who usually argue in front of their children think that since children still have little to no understanding of problems about adult life, they will just forget that the disagreement ever happened. That’s where they’re wrong. Like what they say, children’s minds are like sponges that absorb everything. Letting your child see you and your partner distressingly argue will severely have a massive impact on their personality and behavior. Therefore, as much as possible, be a more responsible parent and save your children from future repercussions by not giving them front seat row tickets to your live fights.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Reasons Why Teenagers Rebel

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Your child’s teenage years may be the most turbulent for you as a parent since a certain hard-headedness can emerge from them abruptly, and you’re not ready! This may be labeled as stubbornness or rebelliousness, but most of the time, these are just very typical of teenagers. It is a phase, and everybody has to live with it.

Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) are quickly becoming the new parental majority, numbering 22 million with 9,000 babies born to them each day. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

As they grow up, teenagers may need some space to find their voice and person; therefore, what is perceived as a rebellious nature can just be a means for teenagers to express their identity. As a parent and a former teenager, you need to understand that fact.

With that, the following lists of some reasons as to why a teenager can be rebelling, just in case you forgot your teenage years and how you were back then. It can, hopefully, provide some clarity in understanding this phenomenon.

Teen Rebellion Is An Inevitable Phase In Everyone’s Life

During the teenage years, children will tend to veer away from their parents to find their identity and voice – apart from their family or their older siblings. This is normal because of the development in their pre-frontal cortex. It is used for critical thinking, and so expect lots of arguing or criticizing at this time. (If you remember this phase – I hate my parents and I hate my siblings – this is THAT phase.)

Parent’s Can Become Predictable

Being under your roof, your behavior and mannerisms have been ingrained into your child more than you think. You will become predictable, and your teen will go around it due to boredom. This can make them seek out more “exciting” ventures to break away from the monotony at home.

The way you conduct yourself in the presence of your children is likely to have a deep and lifelong impact on them. — Johannes Kieding, LCSW

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Teens Want Freedom

Sometimes, we can’t help but heap expectations on our child that we forget that they are their person themselves. Teenagers would want to find their freedom to explore, do, and experience things to develop their individual identities.

They Need Attention

Rebelling can also be a means of seeking help. The teenage years can be very turbulent for growing youth, and they may be feeling lost or overwhelmed from expectations and greater responsibilities.

Teens Experience Biological Changes

Raging hormones can prompt teenagers to make impulsive decisions. Sometimes, predicting consequences is impossible for them, so they tend to act out surprisingly.

Learn to manage your own emotions so you will be in the best shape possible when you talk to your children. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

They Undergo Social Pressures

You’d be surprised at how early peer pressure can start affecting your child. Children, as soon as they reach twelve, can be subject to peer pressure, and this may skew them from making healthy choices.

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Teenagers Learn Through Experience

Some learn by looking or studying, but some learn by participating. Teenagers may want to try different appearances, experiences, and activities to learn about themselves. Don’t worry too much if the transformation can be jarring; most of the time, this is “just a phase” for them to better know themselves.

Perhaps the most significant takeaway from dealing with rebellious youths is to exercise understanding and patience. It’s only natural for us to question our inherent authority, and teenagers are even more wired to do so. Allow them some slack to find themselves and their place in the world, it’s just a part of growing up!

Strategies For Surviving Marriage Hardships Without Going Through Counseling

According to experts, to attain a happy relationship, couples must boost and fortify the value of unity, protecting it at all cost.

How do couples do that?

 

  1. Prioritize Your Marriage

 

Above anything else, keep your marriage on top of your list of things to give attention to for the entire week or month. Don’t just give whatever is left of your time to your marriage. When scheduling your following weeks, dedicate sufficient amount of time to your partner. Then, start figuring out how to add nonobligatory things like shopping, volunteering, or whatever optional activities.

One of the attitudes mediators develop toward conflict is to perceive it as an opportunity and not merely as a problem. This attitude allows for exploration and creativity, and it can open the path toward transformation and change. — Aldo Civico Ph.D.

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Stop saying that you cannot provide ample time to your relationship; if you can commit to work, friends, parents, hobbies, the internet, and even Netflix, you certainly can set aside a portion of your valuable time to the person whom you’ve exchanged vows with. Unless you make your relationship on top of your priorities list, your marriage will never mature.

 

  1. Clock-In Regularly

 

Take it from the biggest, most successful businesses – what do they possess to keep their employees productive, happy, and interested in their jobs? They keep tabs on each other by holding regular meetings that, aside from work agenda, focuses mainly on member concerns and dilly-dallies. Being in a marriage, consider yourself fortunate that you don’t have to listen to discussions of sales and whatnot boringly.

Even when arguments and conflicts go unresolved, when a partner feels understood, they are still pacified and calmed. — Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D.

So, how does regular clock-ins in marriages work?

 

You just have to do the following tactics to maintain a flowing conversation:

 

  • First, do some appreciation lines. Finding something to compliment about your partner is easy if you’ll just look harder.
  • Provide new information; for example, finding out that there’s a modern restaurant nearby that you haven’t tried.
  • If you notice that your partner’s in a bad mood, don’t hesitate to ask. Frustrations of the day are such good conversation openers.
  • End conversations with hopeful ideations like going on a trip to the beach on one of the weekends.

Practice these clock-in strategies to strengthen trust and communication between you and your partner.

 

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  1. Contemplate Decisions Based On How It Will Affect Your Relationship

 

Always keep in mind that every decision you make will affect not only you but also your better-half. Encountering bumps should leave couples questioning whether it is good for the marriage or not, continually considering if the consequences can be good or bad for the future of your relationship. Sometimes, the answer dawns you in the most inopportune times; but, that’s when you’ll know intuitively if your decisions will create stress, slash away precious time, or threaten the foundation of your marriage.

You can help yourself gain the courage to be more daring by nurturing relationships that encourage you to pursue your interests. These relationships can then function as secure bases that support you in your explorations. — LESLIE BECKER-PHELPS, PHD

  1. Set Acceptable Boundaries

 

Friends and extended family members must not be given full access to your marriage. There should be a partly impenetrable boundary that separates your marriage from the rest of the world, preventing any interference with your plans and desires. Because sometimes, instead of helping, concerned individuals make things more complicated. But this does not mean that you have to shut them out entirely. Setting boundaries are just there to send a message to other necessary people in your life that there are lines that they cannot just cross. After all, you will need them as your support system in case you or your marriage encounters a rocky terrain.

 

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Surviving struggles within a relationship are not rocket science, but it needs practice and investing yourself solely to make things work. Let counseling be your last step in resolving a problematic area in your marriage. For now, find a way around your hardships by making sure that you strengthen your relationship first, above anything else. Everything after that will flow smoothly.

 

 

How To Resolve Blended Family Issues – Therapists Suggest A Few Ideas

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A blended family is a term used to name a family that remarries another. This is often called “stepfamily” too. It can get complicated when you are already familiar with your old family, and you have to adjust to a new one. Do not think of this as something that you will never get past within your life. Everything takes time, and so is adjusting to your new family. By applying some changes in your blended family, as suggested by therapists, everything will work out well with effort.

If there are issues between partners or family members in a blended family, you can resort to therapy. There are types of treatment that you can do to help you cope up and understand each other. It may be couples therapy, family therapy, or a one-on-one session with the therapist so they can help you address the issues in your blended family life.

A secure attachment is the foundation of health for children and adults in psychology research, but there is more to the model of attachment than what is depicted in our culture and Instagram posts with the hashtag #attachmentparenting (numbering 340,000 posts on Instagram). — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

How Can Your Family Benefit From Therapy

Therapy can guide you with things you should sort out first. Couples therapy can help parents figure out their roles and responsibilities in their blended family. They can be assisted on how to control discipline, parenting, and finances, so they both get equal parts in their family.

Children can express their worries or concerns in family therapy. They are the ones who are most affected by this change. Treatment will undoubtedly help you communicate with your children well. With that, just reassure them always that they are loved unconditionally even if there are significant family changes.

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Types Of Therapy For Blended Families

There are several approaches to therapies for blended families. Here are some that would genuinely help you:

Family Therapy. Families can attend such treatment as a group, or they can have separate therapy sessions for children and another for the parents. This way, it will not be overwhelming, and you can get to know how therapy works gradually.

Family Systems Therapy. Since a family is a system, this approach is looking into how the family interacts in a therapy session, in and outside of therapy. Therapists will understand how the particular family system works, where the problem focuses on, and how they resolve issues. They can now get help in the areas where there is a tension so that the whole family can function as one.

Reassure your children that they will always have both parents’ love and explain how things will work. — Meri Wallace LCSW

Family Attachment Narrative Therapy. This type of therapy lets you, as a family, attend a therapy session every day for two weeks. You get assisted on how you can talk to your child, form a bond, and be comfortable with each other, especially if you are a stepparent.

Family Narrative Therapy. This therapy separates a person from the problem. It may be a child that has some anger issues toward a parent. They will then be allowed to talk about their feelings and where their emotions are coming from until they are ready to have proper communication with their parents. 

Attachment-Based Family Therapy. This type of therapy is also aligned with attachment therapy. This helps children, especially teens, in blended families, share their emotions and thoughts. If their relationship is affected by outside forces, then they will need to be detached from that and have help facing the problem.

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Tips To Help You Transition In A Blended Family

Make family therapy an option. It is not just for the mentally sick, but it could be a tool to help you regain your relationship with your family. It will not be embarrassing to do something that will help heal all the issues in your family.

Planning. Before you start considering a blended family, you must plan first. You can talk to your partner and your children so they could understand the situation and it can also help you avoid future problems.

Keep in mind the non-residential parent. This is important, especially if your children would want to see their other parent. Explain this to your partner and tell your partner that you will still have to communicate with your ex. It is for the sake of your children, and your partner could also do the same.

Parents can learn how to be attuned to their child’s emotional state and respond appropriately. What creates trauma is a sense of isolation. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

Always pay attention to the children. It is better to reassure your children consistently. They may worry about their stepparent or be concerned that they will be loved less because of this new family. They only need to be reassured that no matter what, they will be loved and that you will answer any questions they have with all honesty.

These can surely help you keep in check your family, and if they are ready for the transition, they are about to go through. It will be hard at first, but if you are communicating well, and you are always assuring your family that they will always be loved and accepted, the transition will go smoothly. Always consider therapy if you cannot control issues so that you get the professional help that you and your family needs.

Helping Children Manage The Effects Of A Broken Home According To A Psychologist

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In times when marriages break apart, the problem confronted by parents would always be on how to deal with the kids. More than anybody in the house, when couples divorce, the impact of separation is still on the kids. Broken homes weigh heavily on children’s emotional condition, and thus, help from psychologists is of utmost importance.

Everyone in the family feels a tremendous sense of loss and anxiety. The family as they know it, will no longer be the same. — Meri Wallace LCSW

The Result Of Broken Homes

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  • Disruption Of Children’s Daily Routine

The divorce of parents leads to changes in the standard set up of the household, regardless if the couple decides to live together or separately. In circumstances when custody cases entered, there is a need for children’s participation. Also, children’s academic performance also tends to be negatively affected. According to studies, kids from broken homes have lower scores on achievement tests.

  • Changes In Children’s Behavior

There is also an observation that children coming from broken homes show negative changes in their practice. They may become irritable, unsociable, impulsive, and selfish. They may also tend to seek for attention wherever they go. It comes in ways that are mostly annoying, menacing, and unpredictable. Parental divorce has also been one of the causes of increased dropout rates not only because of academics but also because of conduct.

Answer their questions and respond to their emotional needs fully—without going to the opposite extreme. Remember to respond to their needs and questions, not yours. — John T. Chirban Ph.D, Th.D.

  • Disorientation And Loss Of Identity

Once children are pulled out from the kind of family atmosphere that they have been familiar with, they may in shock or disorientation. It happens especially when they start alternating between spending time with their mother, then their father. They suddenly have no home with which to associate their self-identity and memories. These children end up seeking a sense of belongingness from external environments and other social groups.

  • Development Of Mental Health Disorders

According to VeryWellFamily, broken homes have also seen to increase the risk of mental health concerns in children. It extends up until their adolescent years and even through adulthood. For one, studies have found that depression and anxiety rates are higher for children whose parents are already divorced. These children are likely to feel alone and also lose their ground. They often spiral into their mental health issues with no one to actively guide them.

  • Trauma And Fear Of The Future

The memory of home breaking apart is not easy to forget. It tends to haunt children even as they grow older. Some of them also display fear of getting into relationships, marrying, and having children of their own. It is because they have such a negative memory attached to it. It gets difficult for them to try and build their own family lives moving forward. Some even develop deeply entrenched hatred up until their adult years.

If you can, schedule a planning meeting with your spouse to work out when, where and who should do the telling. Carefully craft what to say to explain why you are getting separated. — Vikki Stark M.S.W., M.F.T.

The Way To Get Through

Understanding the results of a broken home is the first step towards helping children get through the process. Parents have to recognize that while it is not easy for them to break up their marriage, it is equally – or even more – difficult for the kids. They are the ones who will forever carry with them the memory of a broken home.

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After that, it would be helpful to note these ways to reduce the psychological stress on children:

  • Parents should make an effort to still become responsible co-parents even after the divorce. Both parties should be willing to extend continuous financial, moral, emotional, and physical help to their children.
  • Parents should be careful not to put their kids in the middle of the fight. They are not here to be made to choose who the better parent is. Children experience heightened anxiety levels when placed in this scenario.
  • Parents need to consciously make efforts to remain close to their children even after the divorce. They ought to make the child feel safe and secure even without a typical complete family like the others.
  • Parents need to maintain a physical presence for their children. They should still constantly monitor their children’s activities both at home and in school. Parents should still maintain effective discipline even after the divorce.
  • If need be, parents should also seek professional help in trying to raise their children to be emotionally stable. They may also attend parent education programs to further equip them in handling the issue with their children.

The breaking up of parents and homes does have far-reaching consequences not only on the couple but more so, on the children. So in cases when parents see divorce as the only workable option, both parents have to be ready to face the issues and challenges that come with it, especially for the sake of their children.

Ways To Deal With Family And Their Mental Health

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In dealing with issues within the family, how much should you excuse someone with mental health problems? You understandably know that when it is present, some family members are not their selves. There’s too much irritability, short-tempered, and aggression. There are even times these people can become mean and vindictive not only to you but to other people as well. You may acknowledge that those bad behavior or traits are part of the mental illness, but would you let it go? (more…)

Divorce And My Child’s Mental Health

 

 

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A long time ago, conspiracies started to spread that if parents are sad, the kids are sad too, which is why they have concluded that divorce does help both children and parents. It means that what’s best for mom or dad is also good for the kids. That is just an assumption. In reality, we know from tremendous amounts of research on divorce that children and their mental health suffer when parents split up.

Most kids think that their parents must work through any problem that they encounter. They see their parents as all strong and mighty – powerful enough to provide their every need. There is no problem in the world that parents cannot handle. Most children think that divorce or separation destroys their safety and the very foundation of their security, comfort, and well-being.

Having a conversation with children about divorce may not only reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing, but can also help them prepare, both cognitively and emotionally, for the changes ahead. — Katelyn Alcamo, LCMFT

Studies On Divorce And Children

While every child loses security and family bonds, a child’s damaged emotional and mental health will possibly have more visible outcomes. Decades of research continue to show the negative effects of separation and divorce on children. And though sometimes it doesn’t mean that your child will experience these effects, it nevertheless increases the risk.

  • Children with divorced parents have a higher likelihood of being imprisoned for juvenile delinquency.
  • Children with divorced parents don’t make it well academically. They usually have low grades and don’t make it through high school.
  • They are more likely to have difficulty making a life of their own, as income of the custodial parent decreases considerably.
  • Children and teens from broken homes have a higher likelihood of engaging and drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Kids with divorced or separated parents are five times more susceptible to experiencing mental or physical illness, and their recovery is relatively slower.
  • The emotional scars from the past will haunt these children up until adulthood (some even after they have married).

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It is important to note that these findings are not universal to all children whose parents are divorced. However, we have now pointed out that these children do suffer from lasting emotional trauma.

Even if the reasons for the divorce are plainly evident, upon hearing that you are divorcing, your kids will have to grieve the loss of what could have been: the hope that their parents would always be together and the family unit would remain intact. — Kathy Hardie-Williams, MEd, MS, NCC, LPC, LMFT

When Parents Rebuild, Children Feel Abandoned 

Most parents, while going through and after a divorce, yearn for their own needs to be met – to be happy again and meet someone new. But while parents fix their lives separately, children are faced with confusion and sadness for their parents’ divorce. They feel abandoned and frustrated as their parents move on to find better relationships.

This situation becomes more magnified when one of the parents decides to marry someone else. Children feel that the new setup complicates the situation even more, especially if the new spouse has children of his own, as he will have instant stepbrothers or stepsisters. This then will cause other emotions like jealousy, anger, and alienation. Additionally, children almost always feel that they have an active and dynamic family life, and after a divorce, they find themselves as lost as ever. It’s like their grieving never ceases. Full recovery, research reveals, is close to impossible for children suffering from the divorce of their parents.

 

No Easy Answers

Sometimes, parents find an easy way out, and as this happens, children’s emotional damage will be with them for more than 30 years. While parents assume that their kids are strong and resilient, the trauma of divorce is a lot to put on their plate. On the contrary, some children are more resilient than others and are better able to cope with their daily stresses and challenges. They may show some violent or unpleasant behavioral patterns during the divorce process, but they can move past the hurt of losing their parents’ relationship. So resilience is something that children can or can’t have.

Source: greenviewacc.com.au

You don’t need to diagnose your child, but it is helpful to explore the specific symptoms that may be relevant to your child’s struggle. — Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC

In light of all the facts laid out about marriages heading for separation or divorce and that some of these problems can be saved, parents should probably take a step back before deciding to pursue the process. It’s not easy at all for the kids, but not easy for the parents as well. But if you think divorce is a solution, it might be difficult for your kids. They will think of this process as the enemy, the thing that has destroyed their precious family. Divorce should not be taken lightly for either parent. It should be thought of again and again. It doesn’t only damage the parents’ marriage bond, but it scars the children’s lives forever.