When people talk about the effects of divorce on children, the focus is almost always on the negative. Children might lash out, develop anxiety, become alienated from their parents or start struggling at school.
However, those short-term hiccups in happiness and behavior don’t need to dominate the conversation about the effect of divorce on children and teenagers. When unhappy parents stay together, the entire family suffers along with them. There are a number of ways that your children could benefit from you and your ex deciding to get divorced and work together as co-parents.
The children don’t have to deal with a home environment
The fighting and negativity between parents is usually the primary cause of stress and emotional suffering. Many children already experience that kind of stress while their parents are still married because they fight so much. Having two calmer, happier parents living separately could lead to a lower overall amount of stress for your children.
You have an opportunity to teach them how to follow their happiness
It is one thing to tell your children to prioritize their mental health and happiness. It is an entirely different thing to demonstrate prioritizing your happiness.
Leaving a relationship that makes you miserable can be difficult at first, but it will eventually put you in a position to explore what makes you happy. It can also help you move on to a healthier relationship. Taking good care of yourself and starting better relationships can model good behavior for your children.
Both parents have an opportunity to step up and be active with the kids
Many marriages are unfairly lopsided, with one parent doing most of the work with the children or in the home, even if both parents work. After a divorce, each parent has to be present with the children and involved in their lives. Kids can benefit from having two involve parents instead of one parent who does everything and another who just shows up sometimes.
Shared custody arrangements can benefit everyone in the long run, even if the divorce causes some negative emotions in the short term. Especially if tensions are high in your home, delaying divorce for the sake of your children might not benefit them as much as you think.