Impact of Divorce on Children

Quite often, the impact of divorce on children is huge. While parents are fighting each other and trying to get the most out of the divorce, the faith of the children is insufficiently taken care of.

Children need a lot of attention. If not, the results can be one or more of the following:

  1. destruction
  2. feeling guilty
  3. defiant behavior
  4. withdrawal from their social contacts
  5. loss of self confidence
  6. anger towards themselves
  7. anger towards others
  8. drug abuse
  9. high alcohol usage
  10. criminal behavior
  11. violent behavior
  12. early sexual experiences
  13. early pregnancy
  14. irresponsibility
  15. dropping out from school
  16. poor results at school
  17. trying to attract attention by not complying with rules
  18. distrusting other people

Of course, the impact of divorce on children is bigger on some children than on others. This is partly because of their character, maturity and health, but the way parents help their children to cope with the divorce influences the outcome for an important part. Grand parents, other family like oncles and aunts, a good neighbour and close friends can play an important role too. One or two of those can become a person of trust for the children.

Once such a relationship of trust is developing, the children will benefit from it. With them they can speak freely about their thoughts, dream, doubts, feelings and emotions.

The impact of divorce on children on their self confidence often results from their belief that they caused the divorce. They think they did something wrong. Why children cannot cause a divorce is explained in Kids and divorce.

Children of divorce often feel less secure. They ask themselves:  "will my parents abandon me? Where do I have to go? Who will take care of me? The daily routine that hugely contributed to the feeling of safety and security has changed suddenly. Until their is a new routine, the feeling of security does not come back.

The absence of one of the parents can make children feel extremely lonely, even if he or she visits frequently. On many occasions when the child needs attention, company and warmth of the absent parent, he or she is not there. This contributes to the feeling of being abandoned. Same parents leave and visit the children only once or twice a year. The parent that left is not always to blame. During the fight in the divorce process, one of the parents can have gained sole custody and it is possible that the court decided that the other parent is not allowed to see his or her children on a regular basis. Sometimes divorced parents can have real emotional difficulties to see the ex partner. He or she should try very hard to set these emotions aside. The children deserve to see the other parent on a regular basis too. The parent that has been granted sole custody should have a damned good reason to keep the children away from the other parent.

Withdrawal from social contacts is another impact of divorce on children. It is likely that the non-custodial part of the family - grand parents, oncles, aunts and cousins will less accessible for the children. This does not help to maintain and further build the social network of the children of divorce.

The children cannot cope with their situation alone. They need help and attention. If parents in divorce and after divorce keep focussed on their children, the damage can be reduced dramatically. Every child deserves this.

Are you a Child Friendly Divorced Parent? Do the
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