How do deal with separation in the home? – An advice column

Every person goes through family issues, whether it be a loss, disagreements, or even divorce. While this is normal, it doesn’t always affect people the same. Going through these hardships can put a lot of stress on the child, causing them to act out. Psychologists say that “divorce is known to cause behavioral problems in children, such as delinquency, impulsive behavior, and conduct disorders.” A change in routine, along with hormonal changes, can cause teenagers to act out like this.

Relationship breaks in the household can create so much emotional stress and problems for the children. As an adolescent, the brain and body is still developing. An impact as big as divorce can really leave a huge imprint on a child’s life. The presence of both parents in a young child’s life is very important. The lack thereof, can have several outcomes: Sneakiness, Avoidance of intimacy, Isolation, and Mental health struggles. If both parents being around is a concern for the kid, then this should be communicated with their parents. Talk to them and request that you still get to spend time with the both of them, either together as a family or separate. If the separation is still fresh and the parents are not ready for that yet, then allow them some time but bring the fact up again later so your feelings are explicate. A child needs those figures in their lives regardless of if the adults are getting along or not. 

Adults should acknowledge that parental separation in the household can result in more than just the end of a marriage. For a child going through a parental divorce, it’s a big life adjustment. Since it is “foreign,” there are some family conversations that need to be had. For better understanding, the child should sit the parents down ask about the situation. If a conversation is denied by the adult, it is still helpful to verbally express how you feel and just explain how knowing what’s going on will give you closure and allow you to heal more effectively. The raise in tone or voice can cause the child to feel even more emotionally confused than they were before. While this is a difficult time for the marriage, there is a possibility that arguments will occur. If the child finds themself in the situation of their parents arguing/yelling, take a walk or put in your headphones. By simply removing yourself from the environment can help with the clearing and calming of the mind. The exposure to hostility can be overwhelming for a child, which can inevitably lead to getting distracted in school, being careless, and confusion.

This is a big life adjustment, so space should be given to the child if needed. Because kids are very resilient, especially towards their parents, they will come around eventually. Depending on different factors, like personality, situation, and age, it may take the child longer than expected, or what is comfortable for the parent, to come around. The force of “getting over it” can cause the child to hold some sort of resentment towards the parent. Even though there will always be love there, certain people cope differently. Therefore, talking through the situation and the child making their feelings known, can help the family get through this hardship with understanding and ease.