Divorce affects all children who go through it. Some children seem to heal quickly while others appear to struggle for a lengthy time period. Research shows that those who appear to breeze through the divorce will struggle later on.
"To children, divorce is the death of the once intact family," says Linda Jacobs. "Children experiencing a divorce need time to grieve. Grieving is hard work, so expect your children to take breaks in their grieving. Don't be misled and think they are over the divorce. They are only taking time out to be children."
Your children will each handle the news of the divorce in different ways, and they will have different methods of coping during and after the process. Anger, guilt, fear, withdrawal, aggression, denial, regression, self-blame, and depression are common reactions.
Children can survive and become healthy, competent members of society, but it takes hard work on the part of the adults around them. As a single parent it's important to stay connected to God and a church family and to develop family and community support systems for you and your children.
Some churches offer programs specifically for children whose parents are going through separation and divorce. DivorceCare for Kids, www.DC4K.org, is a fun and powerful program for children ages 5-12 to learn to cope with and heal from the confusion, pain, and the many consequences of divorce.
God promises help for single parents.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" (Psalm 68:5).