Study Finds Divorce Can be Harmful to Your Children’s Health
Spanish scientists recently proved that divorce could be bad for your children’s health.
Researchers from the universities of Santiago de Compostela and Vigo conducted a cross-sectional study of divorced and intact families to conclude that children of separated parents are almost two times more likely to develop gastrointestinal, genitourinary, dermatological or neurological issues than children who live in nuclear families, the New York Daily News reports.
It isn’t the act of divorcing that increases children’s health risks, but the way parents act before, during and after the divorce, the researchers found. The primary cause of ailments was stress.
Children in this study included 467 boys, girls and teenagers aged between ages 2 and 18.
In 2013, Dr. James Sears from the television talk show The Doctors also said separation and divorce can cause harm to kids psychological and physical health.
The kids who come out of divorce with the fewest emotional scars are the ones whose parents are getting along the best outside the marriage. High levels of conflict during and after the divorce tend to signal which children will suffer health-wise. Sears went on to say:
“Typical things I see (are) depression, anxiety, oftentimes changes in sleep habits, nightmares, insomnia, bed wetting. The stress, lack of sleep and lack of good nutrition is a perfect recipe for an immune system that isn’t going to work as well and kids get sick more frequently — about 20 to 35 percent more frequently kids will get sick if there’s divorce.”
Tips for Dealing with Each Other During the Divorce
No parent wants to create health issues for their children. Here’s some advice to help you get along with your soon-to-be ex when you’re not getting along during the divorce process.
Send it in an email
If you’re angry, this is a better communication option than texting. Firing off a text in the heat of an argument is a bell that can’t be unrung. If you’re trying to keep a written record of conversations, use email and take your time before you hit send. Perhaps let the email rest in your drafts folder for a couple of hours and reread it before you send.
If things do get ugly via email, you’re still keeping your children from hearing a verbal argument.
Don’t use hateful language
This is particularly true when in front of your children, but also is the case when it’s just the two of you. If your spouse starts getting nasty, giving your spouse a dose of his or her own medicine tends to escalate the situation. Instead, say that if you two can’t avoid name-calling and other hateful language, you’ll have to discontinue the conversation.
Pick your battles
Although they are aggravating, every wrongdoing does not have to be confronted. Consider ignoring intentionally uncooperative behavior and other tactics designed to get under your skin. Ignoring some behaviors may make them stop.
Forgive your spouse, but forgive yourself, too. Anger and guilt aren’t healthy for either of you. Showing your children that you can forgive each other and move on may help them navigate their way through this process with fewer scars, too.