Relationships Quick Answers
In spite of parents' efforts, do some children simply adjust more easily to a divorce than others?
Each child grows and adjusts at his or her own pace. Some children will have few difficulties, while others will experience more problems. Parents who are aware of their children's needs are better able to help them adjust. Children who experience many changes - such as moving to a new place, starting in a new school, or being cared for in a new day care center - have more to handle and may be slower to adjust. When changes can be reduced, the child may have an easier time. Obviously, this is not always possible. When a change is necessary, parents need to let the child know in advance about the change and make it clear that mom and dad are doing their best to make the transition easier.
Children who have had difficulty in the past adjusting to change may also have more problems. There are no easy answers for this situation. Continuing to use kind but firm methods of child rearing will help children adjust.
Robert Hughes, Jr., Ph.D., Former Professor, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, August 20, 2008