Children Negative Effects of Divorce

Much has been published on Children Negative Effects of Divorce. Fortunately, most children of divorce do not experience long lasting negative effects.

Divorce increases children's risk for a variety of problems. Experts are still unable to accurately predict which children are most vulnerable. Some things to consider:

  • Intelligent, socially mature, and responsible children are more likely to adapt well to their parents' divorce.
  • Children with a sense of humor and get along easily with others are likely to get more support from other adults around them.
  • Children who are difficult to manage and have negative attitudes to their parents and caregivers are likely to have more difficulties: others are less willing to offer them support.

Here is the “Children Negative Effects of Divorce” list, as reported by many researchers, therapists and other experts:

Emotional Pain and Suffering

A divorce hurts all the family members, including the children. Very young children do not understand what is happening, but the feel the loss of one of the parents not being around.

Pain however, is something that goes away. The memories stay, but memories are not always on your mind. They only pop up when you think about it. Some people cannot let go negative feelings and emotions and keep them alive. By doing so, they keep on feeling mistreated, misguided and pityful. These feelings prevent them from focussing on positive things and on a new future. Usually, if they become aware of the vicious circle they are in, or when somebody else makes it clear to them, the suffering stops.

Children Negative Effects of Divorce

Contain the Negative Effects of Divorce on Children

Feeling Insecure

A divorce is a life changing event for children. It turns their world upside down. They do not understand the divorce very well. All they know is that everything will be different. They have many questions: where do I go to school? Where will I live? Will I be able to see my friends? Will the other parent still be around? Did I contribute to the divorce? Will I live with my brothers and sisters in the future or will they live with the other parent? My daddy has a new girl friend, but I do not like her.

It is not difficult to take away most of their insecurities. Present a clear picture to your children of their future. Do it proper but quickly. You really help your children if you talk about their feelings and if you take away their insecurities. “Children Negative Effects of Divorce” tip: co-operate with your ex and find good answers and solutions and communicate them clearly to your children.


If the insecurities stay there, a child might become anxious which can become an anxiety disorder. This is an extreme consequence, of course. A “Children Negative Effects of Divorce” tip:The Anxiety-Free Child Program teaches your children how they can get rid of their anxiety.

Lower self-esteem

Parents, the parential home, the unconditional love between the parents is something children belief in. Your break-up does damage the self confidence of your children. Especially children between 5 and 10 years old are vulnerable. They often think they caused the divorce by behaving not as expected.

In the beginning, many children think the worlds ends when their parents announce the divorce.

Children also wonder what their friends think of it Will my class mates see me as a looser because of the divorce?

Agressive, angry

Some children become aggressive or angry after the divorce. Usually, this behavior goes away after a few weeks or month. If it is not the case, you should take action. Learn how to change the attitude and the behavior of your child from one or more books or guides on the subject (For example, “Children Negative Effects of Divorce” suggests you to read the book: Child Anger Management for Parents) or seek help from a professional counselor or therapist.


An individual is depressed if very negative feelings stay permanently on top of one’s mind. Depression is a serious mental illness for which professional help and sometimes medication is needed to get rid of it.

Poorer social skills

There is a correlation found between children of divorce and social skills. Experts suggest children of divorce have more difficulties trusting other people unconditionally. They tend to have less social contacts. Especially young children tend to cut social relationships after the divorce. Later in life, this can result in having difficulties building intimate relationships.

“Children Negative Effects of Divorce” suggestion: Stimulate your child to participate in all kinds of events to stay socially involved

Higher divorce rates for Children of Divorce

For children of divorce the probability to divorce is twice as high as for children from normal families.

Learning Problems

Children from divorced families are more likely to have academic problems, be more aggressive and get in trouble with school authorities or the police.

When elaborating on children negative effects of divorce on academic achievement we need to look at children's grades, standardized test scores, or dropout rates. Children whose parents divorce generally have poorer scores. These results have been found quite consistently throughout a variety of research studies over the past three decades.

Children's actual performance on tests consistently shows this difference, but results based on teacher or parent reports are less likely to show this difference as both parents and teachers often underestimate the difficulties a child may be having in school or may not recognize the problems.

In some cases, it appears that children's difficulties with school may be caused more by their behavior than their intellectual abilities.

Negative effects of divorce and academic achievements in gender difference.

Boys are more likely to be aggressive and have problems getting along with their peers and teachers, therefore spending less time in school or on their schoolwork.

Girls are more likely to experience depression, interfering with their ability to concentrate on schoolwork or to put as much effort into their work.

School success has long-term implications for children's success in life. It is important to find ways to support children from divorced families.

Common reactions teachers or caregivers see in children experiencing divorce.

  • Young children are more likely to show regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking, increased whining, difficulty making transitions, and increased need to be with a teacher or other caregiver.
  • Older children are more likely to be disobedient, to talk back, and to be destructive.
  • All children are likely to have some new fears about where their parents are or if they will see parents again.
  • There also may be significant declines in school performance, tardiness, absences, and difficulties getting along with peers.

Few children will show all of these signs, but almost all children will show some of these symptoms, especially when there are significant events at home such as a parent moving out, an appearance in court, and general disruptions in the usual home routine.

Children Divorce Statistics

For more on children negative effects of divorce, see Children Divorce Statistics

Positive factors

Some divorce factors contribute to a reduction of divorces and to a reduction of the negative effects of divorce on children.

By Reinier Bloem
Are you a Child Friendly Divorced Parent? Do the
Self Assessment

Book Reviews and Recommended Reading:
Children Learning Reading to improve your child's reading skills
Children Learning Reading
For the age of 2 to 7.
Save The Marriage
Save Your Marriage .....Starting Today.

Free Video Talking to Toddlers
Talking to Toddlers FREE Video

Anxiety Free Child Program Overcome Child Anxiety.
Untreated anxiety can destroy a childs life. Your child does not have to suffer.

Helping Children Through Divorce
But What About Me?
A book for children
To help them through divorce and separation.
Now $ 4.95 only