What Divorce Teaches Children about Love

One of the concerns we often hear from parents who are going through—or have recently gone through a divorce—is how this experience will affect the future relationships their children may have. When kids witness their parents go through a divorce or separation, can they ever fully understand and trust what love is?

While it may be difficult to see the positive at work while you are sorting through the challenges, divorce does bring along with it some positive lessons about love and life that kids take with them as they grow. Here are a few we have observed with our clients and their families:

Self-respect is the basis for real love

By watching parents stand up for their own happiness and wellbeing, kids learn the power of self-esteem. They realize that to love and be loved; you need first to love yourself.

Accepting differences leads to peaceful solutions

Children of divorce learn how to accept others for who they are and not always try to change them. They learn to appreciate differences and work to find common ground in order for issues to be resolved.

Being present is everything

Regardless of the type of shared visitation or co-parenting situation, children come to truly value quality time with each parent. Thus, they put a lot of value in being fully present and engaged with others, especially when it comes to meaningful relationships in their lives.

Embrace change

If there is one lesson that all children of divorce learn, it is simply that change is inevitable. They learn to embrace change, not hide from it, allowing them better handle the curve balls that life will inevitably throw their way.

Happiness is real

Kids see two adults emerge out of what might have been a chaotic experience to live lives of joy and can translate that experience into one beautiful lifelong lesson: happiness is not something that happens to you—it’s something you choose.