Silver Linings for Your Kids After Divorce

Children of divorce can have it rough — no one wants to have their home life upended or listen to the loud arguments (or strained silences) that often accompany the emotional task of splitting up a household. However, being a child of divorced parents is not a “death sentence” or a sure sign of future struggles and behavior patterns. In fact, there is a silver lining to the divorce process — your kids will come out stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to handle what life throws at them. Here are four bright sides for children with divorced parents.

Drive to Succeed

Divorce is hard, but in many cases it pushes children to succeed and excel, whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in their hobbies and talents. Parents with little else to agree upon may find common ground in praising the accomplishments of their children, which will in turn encourage the children to keep achieving. In addition, children with tumultuous home lives may find meaning and stability in focusing on other pursuits. Of course, there is the possibility of “too much of a good thing” as children push themselves harder and harder to bring smiles to the faces of their parents, but if managed well this drive to succeed can be a happy outcome of divorce.

Self-Reliance

When parents are preoccupied with other matters, including divorce proceedings, children can develop a high degree of independence and self-sufficiency. Again, as long as it is not taken to extremes it can be very healthy for a child to learn how to tackle problems and resolve issues on their own. These children find a sense of pride in their newfound capabilities as well as freedom as they understand and can navigate more of the world. As they grow and mature this helps prepare them for the harder and harder challenges life throws their way, and equips them to handle these more effectively than their peers.

Consciousness of Justice and Fairness

Children exposed to negotiating, discussing, and compromising from an early age can internalize those skills and grow up with a particular eye for fairness and equality. Early modeling of diplomacy and finding the middle ground by their parents helps them develop a deep understanding of what is fair and “right.” Parents must take care to foster a healthy respect for self as well, however, or children of divorce may skew too far toward pleasing others at the expense of their own well-being in order to preserve peace or equilibrium.

Heightened Ability to Sense Emotions

Children who grow up in households with a degree of regular disagreement and strife often develop a strong ability to sense and respond to emotions in others. Through months or years of watching the moods and behaviors of their parents, children learn to be sensitive to what is going on around them and to deftly defuse tense situations. This can be a wonderful asset in the business world and in personal relationships if balanced with an appropriate level of self-care. Children who exhibit this kind of high emotional intelligence may sometimes place too much emphasis on keeping the peace and not enough on their own needs.

If you’re considering or are in the midst of a divorce, take heart. While divorce is no picnic, it does not condemn your children to lives of poor relationships and maladjustment. In fact, divorce can help foster and teach some of the characteristics that can help them lead full and happy lives. NextGenJustice can help make the divorce process simple and easy. Give us a call or stop by one of our stores to learn more!

PS — Here and here are some great co-parenting tips.

PPS — Read these encouraging words about how divorce can positively impact YOUR life as well!

PPPS — Have something to add? Chime in using the comments section below.

Derek Distenfield is CEO and Co-founder of NextGenJustice which offers legal and tax solutions without lawyers in four main areas of law: family, business, estate, and tax preparation. More articles can be found at http://nextgenjustice.com/blog/.

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Originally published at nextgenjustice.com on April 8, 2016.

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