It is common wisdom that divorce is one of the more stressful experiences that a person will endure. Children are not immune to the effects of stress. When children hear their parents fighting, their anxieties will rise. Even without actually hearing parents fight, children often pick up on their parents’ anxieties and begin to worry themselves. Studies have shown that the single most important factor in how well children do when their parents divorce is the level of conflict between the parents.
Recent studies have increasingly shown the physical toll that stress can have on the human body. Stress triggers changes in our bodies and make us more likely to become ill. It can also make problems we already have worse. Stress has been linked to numerous physical ailments including headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, eating disorders, and sleep disorders, among others. It only stands to reason that both adults and children are well served by reducing the stress of divorce.
While no divorce will be stress-free, there are steps you can take to reduce the stressfulness of divorce. Avoiding adversarial and confrontational approaches to divorce goes a long way to reducing the stress a divorcing family will experience. When parents can maintain their dignity through the divorce process, their children can continue to feel safe and secure in their parents’ love. Their natural resilience will allow them to adjust to the reality of their parents’ separation if the parents move forward without rancor.
Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are two non-adversarial options for divorcing couples. Couples divorcing through these methods need not get along well or be able to communicate. If a couple wishes to divorce amicably, regardless of their current level of communication, both the Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce methods can create a space where they can settle their differences peacefully.