Parents are often perplexed as to why their children would blame themselves for a divorce. The parents know that the divorce is only because of issues within the marriage and that the children did not cause them.
But kids certainly do think this way. If you’re a parent who is going through a divorce and you’re worried that your children may have this mindset, it’s important to reassure them that they did not cause the split. You also want to understand why they may think so in order to counter this belief.
Here’s what you should know:
A self-centered worldview
First of all, children tend to be a bit self-centered – which is a natural process. They only think about what they want, how the world impacts them and what they are trying to accomplish.
Therefore, it may be hard for them to see the divorce in any other light. They don’t think about it as a change between their parents, but as a change in their own life. As such, they believe that they must have caused this change by something they did.
Another potential reason is that children often believe their thoughts have a lot more realistic power than they actually do. Some experts refer to this as magical thinking. When children believe they can pause events by their thoughts, they may then have guilt if they have ever thought about their parents breaking up or changing their homelife in some way.
It’s good to be attentive to your children’s needs during a divorce. You may want to make sure you know what legal options you have to put the children first every step of the way.