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Does Divorce Affect Boys and Girls Differently?

Posted on in Children of divorce

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorneyIf you are a parent considering filing for divorce, you are probably concerned about how your divorce will affect your children. Divorce affects every member of the family and in many cases, individuals outside the family like the couple's parents and siblings. Regardless of their age, children are affected by their parents' divorces.

Certain factors can color how a child is affected by his or her parents' divorce, such as the child's age and gender. Children of both genders can become anxious and dependent following a divorce, but there are specific ways that each gender tends to work through these emotions. A child's gender can also play a role in how the divorce continues to affect him or her years later, even into adulthood. As a parent, it is important that you minimize the effects your divorce has on your child by remaining emotionally available to him or her and working with your former spouse to co-parent your child effectively, regardless of your child's gender.

Boys Are Often at a Greater Risk of Depression and Acting out after a Divorce

Research shows that although children of both sexes can become depressed after their parents' divorce, boys are more likely to suffer from depression and may act out more as a result, such as becoming combative, using drugs or alcohol, and becoming involved in criminal activity. Boys can also suffer lowered self-esteem after their parents' divorce. This is often linked to children having less contact with their fathers after their parents' divorce. It is important to note that a father simply being present in his son's life is not enough to offset these issues – a father needs to continue to be a parent, rather than becoming a friend to his child after a divorce.

Girls May Feel Pressured to Mature Faster after a Divorce

Girls whose parents are divorced often begin puberty earlier than girls whose parents are together. These physical changes can be overwhelming for a young girl, who might attempt to deal with these changes by repressing her feelings and behaving in a more mature way. Girls with divorced parents often become sexually active earlier than their peers, putting them at risk of becoming pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted infections.

Mothers of girls are cautioned to continue to act as parental figures to their daughters after a divorce, rather than relying on them for more emotional support than they can provide. When this happens, the child can become overwhelmed and develop a warped perspective of what her relationship with her mother should be.

Work with an Experienced Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Although gender can play a role in how a child reacts to a parent's divorce, remember that your child is an individual and will process your divorce in his or her own way. Rather than prescribing certain behaviors to your child, attune yourself to him or her and do your best to react appropriately. For guidance and legal help as you work through the divorce process, work with one of the experienced Kane County divorce lawyers at the Goostree Law Group. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation with us.



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