As a parent considering divorce, there is probably no way in the world that you would lay the blame for your marital troubles at your child’s feet. Yet, surprisingly, many children believe they are the reason their parents want to get a divorce.
Experts believe it is a particular problem for younger children. Here is why:
Young children think they are more important than they are
While that might sound harsh, as they are probably the most important person in the world to you, many young children believe they have the power to influence the world in a way that they just don’t.
Yes, your child may be able to make sweets appear in your hand by smiling sweetly. Or they may be able to bring a smile to your face just by doing that thing they do. But that doesn’t mean that everything they do makes something else happen.
Children don’t always realize things are coincidental
Maybe you and your spouse had a heated argument the day little Jonny broke the flowerpot, but that doesn’t mean the two events are linked. Perhaps you told little Pamela you were getting a divorce the day after she got a bad note on her homework, but once again that does not mean the two are related. Yet, some kids can struggle to make the distinction. They assume their powers of influence are such that when something bad happens, it is somehow down to them.
Most kids will grow out of this, but some could continue to think in this way until an older age. That’s why as divorcing parents, one of the most important things you can do is to tell your child your divorce has nothing to do with them. You just never know what they might be thinking.