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Children respond to divorce in various ways

It is a widely held belief, and not an entirely untrue one, that divorce is difficult on children. Certainly, as Connecticut residents understand, divorce is difficult for everyone involved. However, parents are often urged by experts to consider the effects a negative marriage and hostile home life might have on their children when compared to an amicable, efficient divorce. 

Sometimes, the so-called wisdom of "staying together for the kids" sounds pleasing to a family unit not eager to undergo a separation. However, staying in a marriage that truly is not working can have a number of negative effects on children. Whether parents intend it or not, the tension of living in an unhappy home can manifest in ways that make children, depending on their ages, respond in equally unique ways. 

Younger children sometimes have a tendency to blame themselves for a familial break up, as they are not capable of the higher-order thinking required to place experiences in an emotional hierarchy. Thus, a tantrum or other outburst might be perceived by them as being the "reason" for the divorce. Similarly, with adolescent children, fears over how the separation will influence their lives can take a heavy toll. 

Ultimately, children tend to have the least amount of power in a divorce situation. This is why Connecticut parents facing divorce can be applauded for seeking out support not just for themselves but for the family unit as a whole -- even if the family unit is reshaping itself. Finding ways to prepare for and handle a divorce is the first step toward a happier future for everyone involved. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids", Brette Sember, March 24, 2015

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