It is no secret that an unsteady home life can have a negative effect on children. The research is quite clear on this point. A recent study published in the journal Paediatrics found that children who live in unstable homes are more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems than those who do not.
The study looked at nearly 800 children between the ages of 3 and 17 and found that those who lived in homes with frequent changes in structure (such as divorce, remarriage, or death of a parent) were more likely to suffer from problems such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression.
This article will explore why an unsteady home life can be so damaging to children and offer suggestions for minimising the negative effects.
It is important to note that not all families who experience changes in structure are considered “unsteady.” For example, a family that frequently moves due to job changes may be considered stable, as the parents can provide a consistent and loving home for their children.
However, the changes in family structure are most damaging to children. These changes can include divorce, remarriage, the death of a parent, or any other significant change in the family’s makeup.
One of the reasons why an unsteady home life can be so damaging to children is that it can lead to a feeling of insecurity. This is especially true for younger children, who may not understand why their family is going through changes. When children feel insecure, they are more likely to experience anxiety and depression.
Additionally, children may act out in school or with friends if they do not feel secure in their home life.
Another reason an unsteady home life can damage children is that it can disrupt routines. Routines are essential for children as they provide a sense of stability and predictability. When routines are disrupted, it can lead to behavioural problems such as ADHD. Additionally, disruptions in routines can also cause stress and anxiety in children.
Finally, unsteady home life can also lead to financial insecurity. This is because families who experience structure changes often have a decreased income. This can be due to divorce, the death of a parent, or any other change in the family dynamics.
Financial insecurity can lead to stress and anxiety in both children and parents. It can also lead to problems such as skipping meals or not being able to afford necessary medical care.
There are several things that parents can do to minimise the negative effects of an unsteady home life on their children.
1) Try to maintain as much stability as you can:
This may seem complicated, but it is important to try to maintain as much stability as possible for your children. This means keeping the same routines, if possible, and providing a consistent and loving home environment.
2) Talk to your children about what is happening:
It is crucial to be honest with your children about what is happening in your family. This will help them to understand and feel more secure. Additionally, you should encourage your children to express their feelings about the changes that are taking place.
3) Find professional support:
If you are struggling to cope with the changes in your family, it is important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to families who are going through difficult times. These resources can help you to cope with the stress of an unsteady home life and minimise the negative effects on your children.
For example, if your family is going to divorce, solicitors and other legal professionals can help to make the process as smooth as possible. There are also many support groups available for families going through a divorce or other changes in family structure. These groups can provide you with emotional support and practical advice.
4) Take care of yourself as well:
It is important to remember that you cannot take care of your children if you do not take care of yourself. This means making time for yourself, whether it is through exercise, hobbies, or simply taking a break from your everyday responsibilities. Taking care of yourself will help you to be the best parent possible for your children during this difficult time.
If you are struggling to cope with unsteady home life, remember that you are not alone. Many resources are available to help you and your family through this difficult time. Seek professional help if necessary, and take care of yourself so you can be there for your children.