Most people believe divorce is an adult issue with no explanation needed for children, however, it has consequences that cause a devastating impact on their kids. Married couples today are getting divorced due to many different reasons; conflicts in the marriage, a loss of romantic feelings, perhaps a spouse is having an affair, or other types of problems. Most divorces have young children and due to their age, they do not have any idea how to deal with this type of situation. Most people know of someone who has dealt with or is dealing with a divorce causes and effects on children. Children are the ones who are normally affected the most; they will have to learn to deal with their parents ‘ divorce at such a young age, the situation either affecting them positively or negatively.
Although divorce is not a good thing, sometimes it can have positive outcomes: children being happy, parents being happy and allowing both child and adult to mature. Parents that are divorced or separated can create a better environment for their kids. The children do not have to deal with the parents fighting or the tension in the household. Divorce has an impact on children that are a blow to their sense of security and stability because the world they know is shortly coming to an end and they are terrified about what is going to happen to them. They feel helpless because whatever they say or do, it will not change the fact that their parents are leaving each other, and things will never be the same. They experience some feelings including anger, fear, confusion, and guilt. But the worst is when they feel abandoned or betrayed because the relationships, they knew were all lies and falling apart. They start to question themselves “How am I supposed to trust the remaining relationships I have or trust the new ones that are being formed? As children react can vary depending on their age, the relationship of their parents, family circumstances, etc. Young children, like elementary age, often struggle with why they must go between two different homes. They feel guilty about the divorce and start to blame themselves or secretly think that their misbehavior was the main reason why their parents are divorced. They worry that if their parents stop loving each other that they might one day stop loving them. Signs can include frequent crying, emotional distress, lack of interest in activities, or increased anxiety. Middle school children have a different reaction like when the parents have a conflict, they do not want to side with either parent so they try to get away from these arguments. Other feelings may include embarrassment when parents have a public conflict.
The middle school is often angry about the huge change in their life like their living situation or daily routine. Often, they may see one parent struggling and they start to have a feeling of responsibility for the emotional state of the parent. Signs can include premature interest in sex, Increased conflict with peers, over-functioning in responsibilities, and the same reactions as before. Teenagers have a completely different reaction and what I mean is teenagers start to prepare themselves with the thought of leaving home someday and living independently. They take on responsibilities that an adult would have and forgot that they are still kids who are still developing emotionally and properly. They struggle to see themselves reaching far in the future or imagine themselves successful in adulthood. Signs can include Risky sexual behaviors, anger, poor academic performance, and substance use. The most serious effects, I believe are the worst, are negative peer groups, lower academic performance, and isolation. Isolation is when children adjust to the reality of their parents getting divorced. Children will isolate themselves from parents, another family, and friends and this isolation can make things worse because it gives children time to think about the end of their parent’s marriage in incorrect ways. They may start blaming themselves and with no one to talk to, it could lead to depression. Negative peer groups are when kids don’t feel that they are getting the nurturing they need at home, they seek it from other places, such as negative peer groups. These friends will make a child feel accepted and encourage the rebellious behavior he or she may be engaging in. Furthermore, since parents are tied up with their own emotions, they sometimes forget to console their kids. Joining this type of group brings attention to the child, which is what he or she may be wanting at the time of the divorce. When a child is dealing with anxiety they may have a difficult time concentrating and focusing when. He or she may become depressed and not care about studying as much as he or she normally did. Why are the children of divorced at greater risk of experiencing poor outcomes? One possibility is that children in two-parent families do better because of the increased resources available to them. Single parents only have one income coming into the house. On top of that, single parents often must spend a greater proportion of their income on childcare because they do not have a co-parent to stay home with the child while they work. Even beyond having more income, two parents also have more time to spend with the child.
In conclusion. How are we able to help these children? Well, we can do numerous things like helping the children understand what is happening. Parents should also give their kids enough information about the divorce to reduce their uncertainty about why it happened and what will happen in the future. Parents should be able to provide reassurance about the continued love that each parent has for the children and make clear that the children did nothing to cause the situation, no matter how much they misbehaved, how much money they cost them, etc. Another way parents could help children is even by getting their school counselor involved. A school counselor takes a teenager’s perspective and listens to how they make sense of what has happened in their family. A counselor can also encourage the continued development of a strong sense of self-esteem for the teen and help them see beyond the present toward a hopeful future.