Effects Of Divorce On Children

Divorce is a separation of two people, but their separation affects more than just the two involved – namely their children. Each family and its family members will respond to divorce in a unique way. While some seemingly transition smoothly, others will fall apart.

Effects Of Divorce On Children

Researchers and psychologists have long debated the effects of divorce on children. What factors play into the effects we see on children of divorce? Do negative effects from divorce result from the separation itself or from the way splitting parties handle the roadblocks of divorce? Scientifically speaking, proof can go both ways. There’s proof that children of divorce are more likely to suffer academically, engage in alcohol use, as well as a number of other negative behaviors. However, there’s contrasting proof that children of divorce gain a sense of responsibility and in turn become more beneficially mature in their own romantic relationships. While researchers debate back and forth on the effects of divorce on children, there’s one thing they agree upon: factors.

The effects of divorce on children directly correlates with certain factors and reactions. The way two parents respond to the divorce and its milestones directly affect how the child will adjust to the divorce. Below we will discuss some of the most powerful factors and the effects of divorce on children.

Conflict between parents

Probably the most important factor in your child’s adjustment is the level of conflict between separating spouses. Constant fighting, criticism and custody battles are extremely difficult on children. While it’s important to be honest about the divorce, difficult feelings should be dealt with in a private manner that is respectful of both parents and the family in whole, especially when there are younger children involved.

Promote Honesty and Openness About The Divorce

Though you may think you’re doing your children a service by keeping divorce matters private, this is not the case. Children adjust better when they have more information about the divorce. When children are left in the dark, they tend to make things up in an attempt to understand. It’s essential that children know they are loved and the divorce is not their fault. Discuss what’s going to happen to them such as where they will live. How much information is shared will differ based on age.

How Parents Transition

Children, especially young children, will look to the parents for grounding during this time. If they see one parent struggling through the divorce, they in turn are more likely to display negative signs. This doesn’t mean a parent must mask their feelings, but rather work towards rebuilding a family together by remaining consistent and stable.

Social Support

The more support a child receives the better. Having friends and other family members outside the immediate family positively support them directly correlates with a more positive transition. It’s imperative that children continue to receive positive contact with extended family members on both the mother and father’s side.

Most children adjust to the divorce after two years. Don’t underestimate the power of support and stability for your child during this time. Not only will this help the child move forward positively, but will also help both parents heal and rebuild as well.

Divorce and other marital issues are never easy on anyone directly associated with its effects. If you and your spouse just can’t seem to communicate or make it work anymore, speak with the Marriage Counselors at Gateway Counseling Center for a free first session.

Boynton Beach Counseling Center
Gateway Counseling Center
1034 Gateway Blvd. #104
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
Phone: (561) 468-6464
Phone: (561) 678-0036

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