Divorce is a painful and difficult experience not only for the adults involved but also for the children. Unfortunately, they sometimes go overlooked in the heat of the moment.
But in almost any divorce situation, children will end up impacted by the split itself. This is even more true in cases that involve high levels of conflict. In what ways may these impacts manifest?
Higher rates of mental health struggles
Psychology Today looks into the way high conflict divorces impact kids. Unfortunately, numerous studies have highlighted one similarity: no matter the other circumstances behind or during a divorce, the level of contention can impact a child directly. Specifically, the higher the contention, the more a child will suffer.
These children tend to have a higher rate of mental health issues in their adolescent, teen or adult years. Different forms of anxiety often crop up, along with depression. Children of high conflict divorces often develop unhealthy coping mechanisms as well.
Some studies have gone so far as to point out that in many cases, it is not the divorce itself that has a significant impact on the child. It is simply the level of animosity present in their parents.
Damages done to relationships
It can damage the parent-child relationship, too. No matter the child’s age, unless they are extremely young, they will likely remember and internalize the way parents acted and treated each other during this split.
Thus, it is important for parents to retain a level of civility with one another during the process. Even if it seems difficult at the time, it can provide immeasurable help to children going through it.