Parents in Texas may try to “stay together for the kids” but when their marriage is failing, divorce may be the best option for all involved. Parents may wonder if there is a good (or bad) age for their children to experience divorce. The following is a brief overview of how children of different ages are affected by divorce.
Children age three and under
Research has shown that children can remember life events even from a young age while they are still young. So, your three-year-old may remember fights between you and your spouse that took place a year ago, which could be upsetting. However, as the child ages it is likely they will no longer remember these incidents. To help young children transition through a divorce, parents can try to keep routines as consistent as possible.
Preschool children ages three to five
Preschool aged children are beginning to develop abstract thoughts, and they may be learning how they fit into the world around them. However, they may not be mature enough to understand what divorce means. They are also old enough to think that the divorce might be their fault. Staying civil and cooperative with your ex can help preschool age children transition through a divorce.
Elementary age children ages six to 12
Children at this age are old enough to remember when their family was happy, and when it was not. They understand more about conflict and fault than younger children, though they may not have a full understanding of these complex feelings. They may believe the divorce is about them rather than their parents’ relationship with one another. Keeping a civil attitude about your ex and minimizing the conflict your child is exposed to can help.
Teenagers have a much better understanding than younger children about the reasons their parents are divorcing. They may even be relieved that the fighting is coming to an end. They may still be sad about the split, especially if they must move away and they may idealize past memories of their parents’ marriage. Parents can help by being honest and listening to their children and perhaps going to counseling.
Ultimately there is no “perfect” age to divorce
In the end, children need their parents to be happy, even if that means getting a divorce. There is no “perfect” age for children when it comes to a parent’s divorce. Parents in Sweetwater need to take care of their needs, so they can take care of their child’s needs post-divorce.