Be sure kids get the attention they need during family crises

Pittsburgh residents don’t get married with the idea that they will one day get divorced. Unfortunately, it is a common event for many people these days. Because of the consequences that go along with divorce, it can end up as being one of the landmark events in a person’s life, along with marriage and the birth of children.

Of course, while divorce is a big event for adults, they usually have the life experience to be able to weather the storm. Children are much more susceptible to falling into a funk after their parents split up. Coming so early in their young lives, the divorce of parents can be downright overwhelming.

That’s why it’s crucial for parents to give kids the attention they need in this difficult time. That goes without saying, but putting this into practice may be considerably more difficult than parents expect. Having a spouse to take on some of the responsibilities of housework and child care make it easier for parents to do everything they need to in a given day or evening.

Things that might fall off are cooking nutritious meals or exercising with children. These changes might make kids more susceptible to obesity and depression, and coupled with the emotional strain of going through a divorce, it can make an already bad situation even worse. This is especially true of boys; one study found boys were almost two-thirds more likely to be obese if their parents had gotten divorced. Oddly, however, the same did not apply to girls.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, “Divorce Can Be Weighty Matter For Kids,” Maria Simbra, June 5, 2014

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