In 2002, Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin got divorced after a nine-year marriage. The couple first met on the set of The Marrying Man, a 1991 film, and in 1993, they married and welcomed a daughter, Ireland Baldwin. However, after seven years, the couple separated.
While Basinger claims that the couple is now on better terms, she describes their divorce much less favorably as their custody battle and divorce were unpleasant. In a recent Red Table Talk interview with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Basinger revealed that the divorce process was “heavy-duty” and “very loud” because of how public it was as well as the couple’s inability to see eye to eye.
Ireland Baldwin also participated in the interview. During the divorce, she was only seven years old. However, the divorce deeply affected and continues to affect Ireland. While she was protected from the media at the time, she says that as she got older, she struggled with her mental health. Specifically, she shared that she struggles with anxiety.
Both mother and daughter cited Alec Baldwin’s emotional and mental availability as a part of what made the divorce difficult. Known for being a comedian or a “funny one” as Basinger said, both women felt that Baldwin withdraws, suppresses his emotions, and isn’t always available for deep or emotional conversations.
What Are the Effects of Divorce on Children?
Children are resilient, and with the right support, they can successfully navigate and cope with your divorce. However, you may still notice that they are affected by the divorce in the following ways. Please be advised that how your children respond to and are affected by your divorce will vary based on their age.
- Academic struggles. Because of the changing dynamics, your child may be confused or distracted in school, which can affect their academic performance.
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies. Divorce may affect your child socially as they may struggle to connect with others or feel insecure about their relationships.
- Challenges adapting to change. With the divorce, your child’s schedule, family dynamics, school, living situation, and more can change, which can be difficult to accept, especially all at once. They may act out or struggle to accept so much change.
- Emotional outburst. Your child may feel guilty or angry or emotionally sensitive because of your divorce, and they may not know how to properly express these emotions.
- Destructive behavior. In response to the divorce, your child may start to rebel; research also suggests that children of divorce are also more likely to engage in rebellious and dangerous behavior years after the divorce, which is why it’s important to help them develop healthy coping mechanisms.
- Health concerns. Children may suffer from anxiety or have difficulty sleeping because of their parent’s divorce. You should be mindful of mental health issues, such as depression, and physical health.
- Loss of faith in relationships or family. Children of divorce, especially adult children, may struggle with their relationships or lose faith in the validity or strength of their relationships, including their familial relationships.
It is important to note that not all the effects of divorce on children are negative. While many parents worry that divorce will ruin their children, children of divorce can benefit from having:
- A stable and peaceful environment
- Happier parents
- Stronger individual relationships with each of their parents
- A better sense of how to set personal boundaries
- A better understanding of how to adapt to change
How Can Parents Make Divorce Easier for a Child?
As evidenced by Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin’s divorce, children can also be impacted emotionally and mentally by their parent’s divorce. However, you can take steps to help your child cope with the divorce. Here are nine ways that parents can make divorce easier on their kids.
- Consider how and when you will tell them. You should tell your children about your divorce and the upcoming changes (i.e. living in separate houses, changing schools, having a new pick-up or drop-off schedule, etc.) before these changes occur.
- Avoid arguing in front of them. To avoid making your child resent either of you or feel like they are caught in the middle, you should not fight in front of them.
- Dedicate time to having fun. If possible, consider still having a dedicated family fun time where you watch movies together or just have fun. If you and the other party still need space, you can both still prioritize setting aside time to individually spend time together.
- Be civil or cordial with one another. During exchanges or time spent together, try to be kind or cordial. If you plan to be co-parents, being cordial can help your relationship; your kids will also benefit as they will feel more comfortable about your divorce.
- Don’t place blame. You should avoid placing blame on either your spouse or your children as this can affect your relationship with your child as well as their emotional health.
- Don’t disparage the other parent. Just as you should avoid fighting, you should try not to say anything bad about the other party. If possible, you should also attempt to say positive things when discussing the other parent with your child. If you disparage their parent, you may negatively affect your child’s self-image or relationships with you or the other parent.
- Show them how much you love them. While it is important that you verbally remind your child that you love them, also make an effort to show them in action how you love them as well.
- Be respectful of their feelings. Your child needs time and space to process their emotions, and you should be respectful of their boundaries and listen to them. They may tell you how they’d like to be supported. Whether they need to talk it out, more hugs or physical affection, or help finding a healthy outlet, support them emotionally.
- Find ways to give them some control. Because of your divorce, your child may feel like they’ve lost their control, sense of normalcy, and sense of familiarity. You should implement activities or things that allow your child age-appropriate control over certain situations. For instance, let them design their new room, decide what’s for dinner, or pack their own bag for exchanges.
At Cairns Law Offices, we can help you make the divorce process easier for your entire family. With our divorce services, you can get divorced in as little as 30 days for only $299 (including court costs). You can use our Divorce Wizard and easily file an uncontested, no-fault divorce online.
Learn more by calling (888) 863-9115 or reaching out online today.