The Effects of Divorce on Children

The effects of divorce on children could be massive, but this could be helped. The most common causes for divorce are family problems, physical or emotional abuse, extramarital affairs, work stress and vices. Below are types of divorces you might want to familiarize with:

· Legal divorce – is the lawful end of your marriage where you are allowed to remarry.
· Economic divorce – involves the splitting of assets i.e.: money and property.
· Co-parental divorce – is a type of divorce where both parents agree to support their child even though they no longer have spousal support for each other.

Common effects of divorce on children are psychological problems, poor intellectual development and affected parent-child relationships.

Psychological Effects:

The psychological effects of divorce on children can affect children as young as 6 years of age. Young children can develop anxiety disorders where they experience overwhelming fear of being abandoned. Their feelings of isolation and sadness can also manifest through other problems such as eating disorders.

Poor Intellectual Development:

Children of divorced parents usually display insecurity, neediness, irritability and a constant craving for attention. These types of behavior consequently lead to aggressiveness towards peers, resulting in poor relationships with others. A child’s cognitive skills can also become poor. His or her overall academic performance suffers, thus leading to low self-worth and depression later in life.

Affected Parent-Child Relationships:

Oftentimes children will blame themselves for what happened between their parents. They also start to question their moral values and become either rebellious or overly obedient at any point in time.

The effects of divorce on children and teens could be negative or positive depending on the child’s coping strategies. Teens often engage in extravagant, promiscuous activities and form no concept of an ideal parent. They themselves are distressed about their future career, marriage and kids. But some do take this as a learning experience and attempt to make better decisions in the future.

Here are common concerns experienced by children of divorced parents:

· Financial worries – Children are especially worried about their future career and finances if they feel that their parents divorced because of money problems.
· Marital concerns – Children usually view failed relationships as somehow having an association with their parents’ failed relationship. Because of this, they tend to question marriage a lot in fear of mirroring their parents’ divorce.
· Role or status anxiety – Children can also try to play the role of either parent in attempts to “mend” their parents’ problems. This is considered to be unhealthy especially in adolescents.

How to Relieve the Negative Effects of Divorce on Children:

Allow your child to speak openly to friends, family members or counselors regarding the divorce in the family. Most children react towards divorce by spending more time outside their home. This can have a good effect, but it can also put them in a vulnerable position where less discipline can lead to drug or alcohol abuse. You should therefore still draw some boundaries and continue building a relationship with your child.