Divorce is a Trying Time and Can Affect Every Member of Your Family
Some separations are particularly nasty and arguments can begin over every aspect of splitting up assets. Unfortunately, divorces with children can be even more challenging. Some parents may pit their kids against the other partner or lavish them with gifts to become the “favorite.”
The effects of divorce go far beyond ordinary sadness and confusion, however. Children of divorce and separation go through a lot during the process, and it can have lasting effects on their minds and behavior.
How Divorce Affects the Children
Kids are almost always greatly stressed by divorce. In most cases, the children don’t want their parents to separate – the exception being very violent and intense marriages, which cause their own set of issues. Divorce puts a strain on relationships between parents and children, especially if one party is unable or unwilling to spend time with them.
Changing financial situations also contribute to stress for children. They may suddenly have to go without toys, treats, new clothes, or even food in some cases. Even if they don’t understand why the changes are occurring, they’ll associate their negative feelings with the separation (and likely with the parent who is less financially stable). The faster and smoother the transition is, the better off the children will be.
Mental and Behavioral Issues
Some of the worst side effects of divorce are the psychological and behavioral changes that accompany the separation. Many studies have proven children of divorce are much more likely to develop issues with anger, disobedience, depression, anxiety, and so forth. School achievement usually suffers – particularly when they’re forced to “grow up fast” and take on more responsibility at home to compensate for the missing parent.
Sometimes problems may not develop until later in life. It can take years for emotional issues to become manifest, especially if the child has repressed the memories.
Children are Resilient
Although divorce puts children at a higher risk of stress, it’s important to note that a majority of kids do not develop serious issues. Most children are surprisingly resilient; even more so when they have at least one parent who does a good job of managing the stress and transition during the divorce process.
Some children may not recover without professional help, but most of them will end up being just fine. Keep in mind that no kid wants to be a “child of divorce.” They just want to be a regular child and to be loved.