Divorce can be particularly hard on children. When parents divorce, children can become confused, depressed and angry. The reality is that children can experience a full range of emotions when parents divorce.
Divorcing parents need to recognize the various emotional responses of their children. Moreover, parents must ensure that their children understand that they have the right to feel as they do when their parents’ marriage is coming to an end. Here some specific emotional rights of children in divorce that must be recognized and affirmed by parents.
Right to Own Feelings
Above all else, when it comes to emotional rights of children in a divorce case, they have the absolute right to their own feelings. What this means is that children cannot be chided or criticized for feeling one way or another about their parents ending a marriage.
Parents must reach out to their children and affirm that whatever these young people feel about a divorce is acceptable. This includes anger, relief, confusion, frustration and other different types of reactions children may have to a divorce.
Right to be Heard
In addition to the right to have their own feelings, children have a companion right to be heard. In other words, parents need to make sure they take the time to listen to their children before, during and after a divorce case. Not only must children be heard, parents must endeavor to ensure that they understand what their children are saying.
Right to Express
As part of experiencing emotions and being heard, children have the right to express what they feel. It is one thing to experience emotions and something to be heard. But, feeling and being heard must be accompanied by the right to express what is on the minds of children during divorce. This may include children expressing things in anger, a process that much be accepted and understood by parents in a divorce case.
Right to Ask Questions
Included in the spectrum of rights enjoyed by children in divorce cases is the right to ask questions. The reality is that children in divorce cases typically have a wide range of questions. Many of these questions may actually focus on concerns they have for their own futures in the aftermath of a divorce case.
In addition to asking questions, children have the right to honest responses. Special attention must be made to ensure that responses to questions are age appropriate.
By recognizing and honoring these rights of children in divorce, the process of ending a marriage can be less confusing for children. Ensuring these rights works to ensure that children exist a divorce case in a sounder, more stable condition.