Did you know that Divorce is an Adverse Childhood Experience?

Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, include things like physical and emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver mental illness, household violence and divorce.  The more ACEs a child experiences, the more likely he or she is – as an adult – to suffer from various health conditions, behavior issues, developmental delays, mental illness, poor academic achievement and substance abuse, to name a few. The higher the number of ACEs, the higher likelihood as an adult one may experience these unwanted outcomes.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris has a well-known TED talk on the topic of ACEs and their long term impact on children. https://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_harris_how_childhood_trauma_affects_health_across_a_lifetime?language=en  If you are new to the topic, we suggest you take a few minutes to look into her work.  Essentially, she is an advocate for early intervention and awareness, to help promote resilience in children despite their early adverse experiences. 

Parents have an innate desire to protect their children from harm, and while divorce is sometimes the healthier long-term choice for both parents and children, nevertheless, it is a traumatic experience that has a lasting impact – into adulthood.  Many people are surprised to learn that divorce is one of the top ten most traumatic life events for children. So how can you mitigate this traumatic experience for your children?  You can do your best to have an amicable, low-conflict divorce, with awareness of how important this is for your children both now and in the future.

Mediation is one of the best ways to accomplish an amicable divorce.  With a focus on collaboration, planning for the future, and being mindful of the impact of co-parenting decisions on the children involved, mediation serves as a powerful tool to mitigate the traumatic impact of divorce for the children involved.

At the Dispute Resolution Center, we specialize in a variety of mediation services, including divorce and family mediation. Located in Olathe, KS., we offer both in-person and virtual services to anyone in the Kansas City Metro area. Contact us today at 913-490-3689 to discuss your options!

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