A sharp period
As a rule, children learn about the divorce of their parents. Even if the family has problems and misunderstandings, the child is waiting for the parents to somehow settle the conflicts and stay together. “Both the creation of a family and its breakdown is always a conscious choice of adultspeople, “says family psychologist Anna Berdnikova. – The child neither at creation, nor at destruction of a family of the right of voice is not present, it not its decision. Therefore, children quite seriously perceive the divorce of parents at any age. ”
But there are certain critical moments when the child reacts to the parents’ divorce especially sharply. According to the psychologist of the Insight clinic Lyudmila Yurganova, before 2 years the child is indifferent to the separation of parents, because at this age the father is not a significant object.
The divorce is most traumatic for a child aged 4 to 10 years. From 11 to 13 the child is busy searching for his group, and the relationship with peers worries him more than the parents’ relationship. The critical period comes again at the age of 16 – 22 years.
“From the age of 16 the teenager wants to represent his parents in a couple not only to his friends, but also to the representatives of the opposite sex,” the psychologist explains. After 22 years, people are usually already in a relationship with another gender and are more relaxed about the decision of their parents to part.
To fall under the influence
According to a 25-year study of foreign psychologists, the divorce of parents causes not only short-term experiences in the child, but also continues to influence throughout life. People who, at the age of 2-6 years, survived the separation of their parents, in general, studied worse, had more problems with alcohol and drugs and more difficulties with their personal lives, and, according to the researchers, the influence grew with age.
In the opinion of Lyudmila Yurganova, divorce is a warning factor for the child in the event that the disruption occurred due to the addictive behavior of one of the parents – then he can understand what risk he is having on the dangerous path of dependence. If the divorce occurred for another reason, most likely, it will affect the personal life of an already grown child: “When a father leaves the family, the child experiences a one-sided perception of the relationship.
If, for example, a girl does not have a dad, she has an illusory idea of men – or she thinks that all scoundrels either wait for the prince and believe that she will have a life without conflicts and scandals. “
As a result, faced with problems in family life, such people are lost, since they do not have mechanisms for smoothing the conflict. In addition, it is very difficult to observe the destruction of their ideals.
Despite the enormous impact of divorce on the child’s psyche, there are several conditions when parting affects positively. According to Anna Berdnikova, divorce is an unequivocal benefit, when it is not safe to live with the whole family. “If a parent suffers alcoholic, narcotic, game addiction, he becomes a phantom for the child,” adds Lyudmila Yurganova. “He seems to be, but at the same time there is no benefit from him in terms of upbringing, education and support. The same goes for a man who is dependent on frequent relationships with other women. ”
Do not want to become a source of your own child’s pain to any parent. Therefore, a serious conversation about changes in life is often postponed. But do not wait until the child starts asking questions – if the decision is made, this should be reported even to the smallest members of the family.
“At a young age, you need to build on the experience that the child has – for example, recall a conflict in the kindergarten, ask why the kid no longer wants to play with another child.
In this case, he does not stand on the side of one of the parents, but perceives the situation detached, sees the whole picture. ” At an older age, it’s worth talking about the causes of the conflict. You do not have to go into details, telling that your dad leaves, because he no longer loves his mother – focus on your feelings caused by the partner’s behavior. “Explain that you did not feel support, you were sad and lonely,” advises Lyudmila Yurganova. – The husband, in turn, should also explain why he did not pay attention, did not give support, because he also has his own truth, his reasons. ” Of course, it is worth refraining from negative assessments and insults – thus you can cause more pain to the child.
Ideally, both parents should talk with the child – an option when the pope left, slamming the door, and my mother in tears trying to explain something, will not bring anything good. “If parents adhere to the rule” who leaves – that explains “, the child is easier to survive the situation,” says Lyudmila Yurganova. First, he explains the one who leaves, and then the current questions are answered by the one who stayed. ”
In stressful situations, children, like adults, behave differently. Some cry and become isolated, others threaten, others manipulate. According to Lyudmila Yurganova, the reaction to the sad news can be divided into three stages:
1. Rejection – the child does not believe in what happened, and within 3-5 days does not react, unconsciously trying to protect himself from a powerful blow.
2. Gradual acceptance of the situation. Here the child can behave differently: show aggression, cry or try to benefit.
It’s my fault …
Sometimes the husband and his wife are so carried away by mutual accusations that they do not notice how guilty already found: “Children can blame themselves for what is happening, and parents often make efforts to do this,” says Anna Berdnikova. – For example, a child sees that parents quarrel because they have different views on education, and on this fact concludes that if he behaved differently, Mom and Dad would be together. ” A sense of guilt arises if one of the parents tells the child about their experiences, how difficult it is for them to make a decision, and asks for advice – to divorce or not. “The adult tries to share responsibility,” Anna continues. “But even for a teenager it’s a heavy burden.” You can talk about your feelings, but do not share your dad’s assessments. It will be an accessible truth for the child. ”
If you still do not see any other way out and decide to get divorced, it’s worth considering how to reduce the child’s experiences.
• Do not involve children in scandals. The most dangerous hook on which parents come across in the process of divorce is the clarification of relations in the presence of the child. Often they drag a son or daughter into a conflict, forcing them to take sides. This can cause serious problems – from the loss of confidence in parents until unexpected aggression.
• Do not shift responsibility. Accusations against the father of the child will bring relief only to you, at the same time, you should not take all responsibility for yourself. “A one-sided interpretation, shifting the blame to the one who left, can aggravate the child’s experiences,” comments Lyudmila Yurganova.
•Do not interfere with the communication of the father with the child. “If there is the slightest opportunity to maintain an even relationship with the father, it is important to encourage his desire to communicate with the child,” says Anna Berdnikova and recommends discussing the participation of the pope in the life of children before you part.
• Do not blacken the father in the eyes of the child. Even if it is easier said than done, try to look at the husband from the position of the child and to refrain from unflattering reviews in his address. Especially do not negatively comment on the character traits inherited by the child from his father. “Accusations as a parent who has left, and the child himself (” You’re all in your daddy! “) Can cause additional experiences,” notes Lyudmila Yurganova.
• Support the child.“We must constantly tell the child that he is loved, important and meaningful,” Anna Berdnikova recommends. It’s important to remember yourself and tell the child that your family does not cease to be a family – just now it will be a little different. ”