If mom and dad are divorcing, most will ask themselves and probably want to know, How did this happen? There are many reasons why a marriage falls apart, including financial problems, drug or alcohol abuse, infidelity, physical or verbal abuse, stress, physical or mental illness or poor communication. Research reveals that the most common reason tends to be a gradual growing apart (Tara, 2012). It's natural to want to know why and it's ok to ask parents about it. In most cases parents will openly discuss the issues that fueled their split or they may prefer to keep that information private. Regardless of their decision it is important to know two things: it is not your fault, your actions or words didn't cause this and the parents are divorcing one another; they're not divorcing you--even if it feels that way sometimes. For a while it may feel like parents will be focused on adjusting and making arrangements for the future. Mom and dad may be overly emotional, distracted, irritable, and tired.
Divorce may change the structure of a family, it may change the character of a family, but it does not have to destroy a family. Research indicates it isn't common for parents to discuss with their children how the divorce will impact them. In one study only 5 percent of young people said they had been fully informed about the divorce and were encouraged to ask questions. "Any other family event like a birth, adoption or wedding is talked about endlessly, but divorce isn't talked about at all" (Kelly,2003).
A significant number of children aren't being told how the divorce is going to affect their lives, and they're very worried (Sarah,2013). Why aren't parents initiating such critical conversations? There are many reasons, say mental health experts and they are unintentional. A parent may be under the false impression that he or she is protecting their children. Sometimes parents don't know how to explain things and other times they are so physically and mentally exhausted that they forget to keep an open dialogue going. Divorcing parents know their actions are hurting their children and by avoiding the topic, they don't have to think about the pain they are causing. Although strong feelings can be tough on kids, the following reactions can be considered normal for children:
Anger, anxiety or mild depression. If things get worse after several months, it may be a sign that your child could use some additional support. Watch for these warning signs of…