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When a difficult decision comes our way, we try to delay it so we don't have to face it. This is what happens, many times, with divorce. Knowing that love is over, many couples try to postpone the end of the marriage, at least until the children are a little older so they don't suffer as much. However, a study conducted in the United Kingdom has disproved this belief. Explain what, if you go to divorce, it is better to do it before your child turns 7, as it will be a less traumatic experience for the little one.
Research by The University College London establishes that the best age for children to experience a divorce from their parents is from 0 to 7 years. And it is that, this experience is more damaging for the mental health of the children when they are older.
According to data collected from 6,000 children and young people in the United Kingdom, those whose parents end their union when they are between 7 and 14 years old show a 16% increase in emotional problems such as anxiety and depression. In addition, they also increase conduct disorder (8%). However, when they are young they are less than 7 years old, they have the same probability of developing these problems as those whose parents have not separated. On the other hand, it is detailed that male children of divorced parents are more likely to develop bad behavior than girls.
It is concluded, therefore, that Parental divorce has more consequences for adolescents than for children. According to Professor Fitzsimons, one of the authors of the study, this could be due to the fact that older children are more aware of what separation implies, both at a family level and at a social level, which makes them more susceptible to suffering.
The data obtained show something that has been talked about for a long time: the divorce of parents can be a complicated experience for children, especially in cases where the separation is carried out in a violent way. However, it is the first time that it has been shown that, the sooner this separation, the less harmful it will work out for the little ones.
To alter the mental health of adolescents and children as little as possible, parents must find the 'best way' to divorce. Here are some tips:
1. Talk to the children about the new family situation
In order for children to accept the new situation that the family is going to face, they must understand it. Talk to them about how you are going to live now or when they will be able to see family. Always use an affectionate tone and make them see that they will continue to have the love of both their mother and father. Listen to what they have to say too.
2. Never discuss divorce in front of the children
Children have no need to witness discussions about the terms on which the divorce is to take place. This causes many to blame themselves for the separation, which can end up affecting their self-esteem.
3. Never speak ill of the other part of the couple
Neither 'mom' has to speak ill of 'dad' to children, not the other way around. You can never forget that, even if the couple has not worked, the other person is still the father or mother of your children and, therefore, they do not have to be witnesses of the grudges that you hold.
4. Do not use children as spies for the other
Many parents are tempted to use children's visits to their parent's new home to learn details of their new life. While you have to make sure that when they are with each other they are happy, there is no justification for turning young child spies.
5. Build a healthy and friendly relationship after divorce
For the sake of the children, divorced parents must know how to build a friendly environment between them so as not to affect them in a negative way.
6. If you need it, go to an expert
Visiting a psychologist or therapist could help children to overcome their parents' divorce in a more positive way.
When facing a divorce, children are still the most important thing and, therefore, parents try by all means that their mental health is not damaged by the experience.
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