Before divorcing, some parents usually worry if divorce will affect or hurt their children. Research has shown that divorce may affect or may not affect children depending on the situation and the age.
This is to mean that if children are not yet of age, for example 2-3 years, they may hardly notice their parents divorcing which may really not have much effect. On the other hand, big children who know their parents well may find it hard to move on after their parents divorce.
In some cases it may be really traumatizing to a point where the whole family splits. By this I mean kids may go separate ways and parents go separate ways, especially if they are big kids. The cause of divorce is also a determinant because some divorces may be peaceful in such a way that the children may not realize what is happening while others may be chaotic. Divorces from chaos will lead to the hurting of the children. In most cases divorce hurts children. Here are the reasons why:
Children from Divorced families suffer academically
Most teachers can attest that students from divorced families have lower grades. They might have been performing previously but as marital problems came in to their families, they started performing poorly in school due to restlessness and psychological effects. Most of the times such children are usually thinking about their parents and are uncertain about what will happen in future which leads to less concentration in school work, therefore affecting their grades.
Such children are usually associated with crimes
Kids from divorced homes are easily roused to anger. They usually have that feeling of insecurity and therefore tend to react negatively to anything. They may associate themselves with bad peer groups so as to gain that sense of security which they are lacking at home. This is the reason as to why they are usually found in many crimes.
Children may live in poverty
Children with both parents tend to live a better lifestyle than children from divorced families. You can imagine how a family in which one partner is the bread winner would be if it breaks. First of all you might find that one of the partners is not learned, in most cases the woman.
If they separate with the partner, she will have to start from scratch. She is supposed to find simple ways of getting money to sustain her family or even find a way of upgrading her studies to the point where it would be easy to get employment.
Meanwhile, the family may undergo financial constraints since it is like the beginning of a new life. This transition may affect children especially if they were used to a lavish lifestyle.
Youths from divorced families are more likely to be associated with drug abuse
With all the trauma from marital conflicts, children from such families may just decide to abuse drugs in order to forget what they have seen in their homes. Some do not know how to handle the shock of their parents not living together, considering the fact that they might have been left with the parent who they are less close with.
If it is a girl who has been left with the dad, then she will be having a lot of responsibilities such as cooking for him before they find a househelp. To reduce stress and anger, the child may abuse drugs so as to leave this world of reality for a while.
Divorce may cause psychological distress to a child in that he or she is just not settled. The child usually has unpleasant feelings which make it impossible to carry on with normal activities. They may express psychological distress in different ways it does not have to be the same in every child.
Some may be sad throughout, others may experience sleep disturbances while others may have memory problems – that is always remembering the bad experience. In other cases some children lose weight or even have anger management issues. Such children need to feel loved and cared so that they may learn to forget their past.
Emotional scars of divorce last into adulthood
I have seen children who have grown up with a lot of anger due to their parents divorce. Some swear that they will never marry if at all their children will go through what they have gone through.
Some girls, due to divorce of their parents may deliberately decide to have two to three affairs, get children, and then stay alone in order to avoid getting married. Divorce can therefore change a child’s attitude such that he or she does not want to hear anything about marriage.
Feelings of guilt
Children may start asking themselves if they are the reason why their parents left each other or why their parents do not love each other. They may sometimes overthink and have regrets which may lead to depression and stress which may be having long term effects. This is a very big effect of divorce towards the children since they will have to live with the guilt.
Children may grow to be antisocial
After parents have separated, some children may lose interest in socializing with others. They therefore withdraw from peer groups and seem not be to be interested with social activities such as going for road trips and swimming with friends. They usually have few friends, do not talk much and prefer to stay on their own. Some really wonder why others have intact families and not them which is really not good.
Increase in Health Problems
The process of divorce and its effects on children can be stressful. Dealing with these issues can cause physical problems. Children who have experienced divorce have higher chances of getting sick, which can stem from many factors, including their difficulty going to sleep. Also, signs of depression can appear, exacerbating these feelings of loss of well-being, and deteriorating health signs.
Loss of faith in family unit
Children who have been raised in divorced families have higher chances of divorcing than those from intact families. They usually do not know how to handle most things since from the beginning, they have never stayed with both parents to know how to go about some issues which may lead to divorce. Such children need to go through proper counselling before getting married.
Difficulty in adapting change
Divorce is not that easy. After parents agree to leave each other children have to leave with one of the parents. This means change of neighbourhood, school, friends and at times social class. Some children may have been used to being taken to school by their parents car but they will have to start using school buses since, after the divorce, one parent may have been left with the car.
Socializing and having new friends may also be a great hustle for some children. They may go to better or worse schools which is also not easy since they have to adapt to the new teaching methods from the new teachers.This is a really great challenge.
Trouble With Relationships
Children from divorced families usually have negative mindsets when starting any relationship. They usually have trust issues and do not know what harmony in love is. They find it hard to resolve conflicts since all they have seen is a failing marriage. The effect of divorce is far much than what is expected and also traumatizing.
From the above factors we notice that divorce can hurt a child. Some of the effects are long term while others are short term. One fact is that, the way a couple divorces really matters a lot.
It is advised that whenever a couple has conflict, they are supposed to resolve it in their room far from where the children are. Children are not supposed to have any slight idea that parents are not in good terms.
This will enable them to grow with the right mental attitude. In case parents decide to divorce, they should call the whole family and ensure the children understand why they are doing so, not just leaving and abusing each other. This will do more harm than good to the parents.
Parents should not deny their children from seeing the other partner, they should at least pretend that they are in the right terms if at all they care about their children. Using abusive words toward your partner should not be done since it may affect the perception of the kids towards him or her which is not right. Act right so that your children may make the right decisions in future.
Just in case divorce has already happened and probably your child exhibits some of the signs written above, you may have to take some measures so that he or she may change especially if he or she saw the marital conflicts happening between you. Here is what parents can do help children during this difficult time:
Kids need to know that their opinions matter and that they can be listened to. Parents need to know how to handle their kid’s concerns, show them love and handle whatever issues they have. Parents should be wise enough to handle the fears of the children until they are comfortable.
Keep yourself healthy
Even though this is a very hard time for everyone in the family parents should strive to put themselves in a position in which they will be able to manage their stress. Financial constraints may come in as a result of the separation, which may lead to a lot of stress but one should ensure that they are physically and emotionally stable so as to be able to take care of the kids well.
This is not the time to go it alone. You should find a support group, talk to others who have gone through this, use online resources, or ask your doctor or religious leaders to refer you to other resources.
Getting help yourself sets a good example for your kids on how to make a healthy adjustment to this major change. In addition to this, you can get help from a counselor, therapist or a close friend to be able to maintain healthy boundaries with the children.
It is really important that the kids should not see your weakness during this period. However, older kids can give you a shoulder to lean on. Even though they may try to offer support, do not let them be the provider of your emotional support. Ensure you find the emotional support from a therapist or friend.
Keep the details in check
Ensure you maintain privacy when discussing the matter with your lawyer, family members or friends. Keep the details as civil as possible especially if the cause of divorce may be something like infidelity.
When it comes to pictures or text messages which may serve as evidence, put them in a confined area where children and close friends will not be able to access since this a period in which there is a lot of curiosity in them.
In addition to this, you should not allow your feelings to control. Do not start blaming your partner or calling him or her abusive names especially if it is before people and your children. Try to control your emotions and act professionally and maturely.
After talking to the kids nicely about the divorce, they may seem to understand and tell you they ‘get it’ but forget the next day and start telling you how they miss their old life or their father or mother.
This is one of the most tempting situation to find yourself in, so you should really exercise patience because they will surely get it with time. You should not start yelling at them, but you should exercise control of words as much as you can.
If every divorcee follows the above guidelines especially when it comes to handling the hurting children, then everything will align itself and children will find it easier to move on.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506