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Your daily activities as parent help to shape your kids’ self-esteem, whether you’re aware of it or not. Unfortunately, their self-esteem may plummet in the midst of divorce — especially if you suffer a messy split. Read on for further insight into divorce and self-esteem.

The Bad News: Children of Divorce Suffer Reduced Self-Esteem

A concerning study in the academic journal Psychological Reports found that children of divorce suffered significantly lower self-esteem than their peers from intact families. Sadly, damage to kids’ self-esteem continued long after the divorce.

A later study from the University of Wisconsin in Madison revealed that children of divorce tend to internalize their problems. Over time, this can considerably damage kids’ self-image and general well-being.

How to Help Kids Maintain High Self-Esteem

Kids with poor self-esteem are more likely to suffer depression or other mental health problems. Their grades may drop, and they may prove more vulnerable to drug abuse. It is therefore critical that you take action to mitigate the potential for lower self-esteem after divorce.

Above all else, it’s crucial that you remind your children that they are not to blame for your divorce. Words alone aren’t enough; reinforce this concept regularly through your interactions with your ex. Don’t argue about childcare in front of your kids — no matter how much you insist they aren’t to blame, they will draw the opposite conclusion.

Kids dealing with the emotional trauma of divorce need positive outlets. Close friendships can help, especially if your children are able to remain at the same school following divorce. Encourage your kids to get involved in athletic or artistic pursuits.

You and your children face a tough road ahead, but the way you tackle divorce can have a huge impact on how they respond. Work with the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. to ensure an outcome that benefits both you and your kids. Call (763) 783-5146 to learn more about our approach to sensitive family matters.