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Divorce's Impact on Children Under 10

For Georgia couples, divorce can be a difficult time, and sometimes children get lost in the mix. Children may not understand what is going on, but at the same time, they do not want to make anything worse for the people who are taking care of them.

The main concerns for children under 10 include:

  • "I just want the fighting to stop."
  • "I hate being in the middle."
  • "I feel like it's all my fault."
  • "Will my mother/father divorce me too?"
  • "I wish everything would go back to how it was."

Parents are actually encouraged to not hide all fighting from the children. Kids who have the most difficult time adjusting are the ones who thought everything was fine. If children can see that their parents are unhappy together, they can better understand why their parents are divorcing.

It is important to remember that these are still kids, and that they should not be placed in the middle of the divorce. A parent should not make disparaging comments about the other spouse in front of the kids, or ask them to take a message to the other spouse.

A common concern is that the parents will divorce their children. Young children can take things personally and may not understand why they do not get time with a parent. Even if the parent's only option is to take a job out of state or move far away, children can feel rejected if a parent reduces contact with them. It is important to ensure regular contact to make sure they do not feel that way.

The last common concern is that kids want everything to go back to normal. Children work well in a routine, and they get used to living and dealing with both parents together. For them, dealing with each parent separately is a difficult transition.

It is important to remember that children deal with divorce differently, and that they do not have the same perspective as adults.

Source: Huffington Post Blog, "Top 5 Kids Concerns When Parents Divorce," Marie Hartwell-Walker, May 31, 2012

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