Parents in seperation and divorce are very concerned about the effects of divorce on children. They wonder whether their decision will affect the happiness and health of their child. Reliable information about the effects on children is still being gathered and analyzed by sociologists and psychologists.
Manage the effects of divorce on children
The divorce itself does not effect children in a negative way. The effects result from the feeling of uncertainty of what is going to happen after the divorce, from the level of conflict between the parents and from how the parenting after the divorce is done.
The consequences of a divorce for children are mostly that they have to move to a different home and sometimes to a different school and that they will not see and be with both their parents at the same time any more. In most of the cases, they will live with their mother and they will see their father much less.
To adjust to their new situation takes them 2 years or more.
The age of the children plays a role in how they react to the divorce. Effects of divorce on children under 9 years - the so called pre-schoolers - are that they tend to blame themselves for the divorce. They also dream about their parents getting back together again some day. That's wishful thinking.
For pre-schoolers, the family and especially their parents, is the center of their universe. They need a lot of attention, care, love and confirmation from them. As a result of the divorce, they might become even more dependent of their parents. Divorced parents report that after the divorce, their young children started bed watering again and that they could not or did not want to do simple tasks that they were able to before. Probably, this is their way of getting closer to their parents.
Adolescents (children between 9 and 13 years) react in the opposite direction. They tend to behave more independent. They feel betrayed by their divorced parents. Mistrust enters the relationship. They feel they have to take care of themselves, to take things in their own hands. Mum and dad are apparently putting their interest first.
Among boys, this materialises in more rebellious and agressive behavior. Girls have the tendency to become more anxious and withdrawn. Girls of divorce parents are sexually active at younger age.
Among effects of divorce on children are negative emotions like bitterness, stress, emotional pain, anxiety, fear, feeling abandoned, feeling betrayed and loss of self-esteem.
Judith Wallerstein concluded from her long term research project that the highest impact of divorce on children comes 15 to 25 years after the divorce, when the children enter into a serious romantic relationship. Not during their childhood, adolescence or young adult phase. They expect to faile and they fear loss, change and conflict.
Other know effects of divorce on children are adjustment and behavioral problems resulting from the divorced parents that are stress during longer periods and from interrupted routines. As a result, the children become more difficult to manage.
Children of divorce have problems to adjust to the new situation especially When their divorced parents keep on fighting. The bigger the conflict and the longer it lasts, the more the children seem to be affected.
The visiting parent can have positive or negative effects of divorce on children. If he or she is not paying attention to the child, but instead is fighting with the ex spouse, the child will not enjoy the visit at all. The visits must also be at a regular interval and at predictable times. This way, the children will get the feeling that the visiting parent takes the time and effort to visit them and that it is imporant for their visiting parent too. Finally, divorced parents should not try to find out via their children how their ex is living, what he or she is up to or to know about the new partner of their ex.For additional reading, we warmly recommend your to read the book Helping Children Through Divorce.
Fortunately, many children of divorce learn to cope with the situation. After a while they leave many of the negative effects behind. For their own future, they decide to do it better than their parents did. The research that was conducted in the 70' painted a very negative picture. Today the outcomes of divorce on children seem to be less dramatic.
Divorce increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. The parenting style plays an important role. The two years after the divorce, support is most important for the children. In general, use an authoritative style of parenting to minimise for children negative effects of divorce on children.
The long term effects have been investigated by Mrs. Wallerstein in 1991. Read the details.
Young children have an attachment bond with their primary caretaker. Usually, this is their mother. Taking them away afrom their attachment figure too early disturbs the social and emotional development process. This might result in serious and long-lasting emotional and social problems. Learn more in Social and emotional development.
Most of the time parents in separation are very concerned about the well being of their children. They ask themselves How Does Divorce Affect Children? The age of the children, the gender and the size of the conflict are important factors. Continue reading on: Affects of divorce on children.
Research has generally found this to be the most effective kind of parenting. Authoritative parents are able to provide structure but still remain flexible. They can allow the children to make some decisions on their own, while still maintaining parental control over the situation. Hence, how divorce affects children is influenced by the parenting style.
There some false assumptions from the past on which policies on how to treat children have been based. Two myths are unfolded in the article effect of divorce on children.
Resolving the martial conflict when parents are in divorce can have positive effects of divorce on children. So what makes conflict OK? How do you manage conflict? Some points to consider are listed and explained in effect of divorce on child.
The effects of divorce on children are largely influenced by the way you explain the divorce to them. For tips: explaining divorce to children.
The impact of divorce on children is huge. Parents are fighting each other and trying to get the most out of the divorce. They take insufficiently care of the well-being of the children. Read why divorced parents should take care of their children: Impact of divorce on children.
Children going through a divorce and the process after the divorce are painfull. They feel emotional conflict. Even if they do not express their feelings, it is important to understand that they are struggling with the divorce. For more understanding, please read: affect of divorce to children.
Conflict has negative impact on the children of divorce. To fully understand the divorce effects on children, we need to examine the issue of parental conflict. Children need supportive co-parenting. Parents must cooperate to meet the children's needs. The effects of conflict and escalation is explained in divorce effects on children
When fear takes over and the person becomes dysfunctional, psychologists speak of Anxiety Disorder. Many people suffer from AD. It can be diagnosed and it can be treated. Anxiety is a normal thing. It prevents us from harm. When important events come up, it pushes us to prepare ourselves. It warns us whenever we have to take action. But if you feel anxious all the time when doing your daily things, it is not normal any more. You cease to function in a constructive way. If anxiety is taking over your daily life, we speak of Anxiety Disorder. If you want to help your anxious child, check out The Anxiety-Free Child Program.
Anger in children or in parents have often negative effects of divorce on children. If anger is dominantly present and persistent, deal with it. Anger stands in the way of constructive thinking and acting. It consumes energy and attention that cannot be used for rebuilding a future instead. Anger Child Divorce Control.
The Battered Women Syndrome is a result of episodic domestic violence. The violence can be physical, mental or both. As a result of the violence and the intimidation, the person suffering from the Battered Women Syndrome is not able to escape from it. Women suffering from the syndrome unconsiously harm their children because it takes quite a while before they leave their abusing partner.
Among the possible effects of divorce on children is the so called Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). A child with ODD displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster's day to day functioning. Oppositional Defiance Disorder can be treated by professionals.
The effects divorce children are many. But how many children of divorce do experience these effect? How they do compare with children of normal families? What is causing the emotional and behavioral problems for children of divorce? Is the event of the divorce the cause of these effect? This article provides you with answers on these questions.
Consider the effects of divorce before you actually divorce. Both the emotional and physical effects are different for men and women. If we look at the statistics, the emotional impact tend to be larger for men, the physical effects are more severe for women. Read on
What is the story of your children during and after your divorce? What did you learn from it? What are your challenges? Share it!
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