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Sep 8, 2020 2:34 AM ET

How Does Divorce Affect Children | Consequences & Solutions

iCrowd Newswire - Sep 8, 2020

Divorce is one of the worst things that can ever happen to a family. Having to go through a separation with someone you vowed to spend your whole life can be painful. However, while children can learn to adapt, the children often suffer the most. Children being involved in a divorce can complicate things for the parents, but for a child it is about a lot more than just a custody arrangement and visitation rights. The anxiety of having your world torn apart through the separation of your parents can be devastating to a child’s emotions. So to make sure that you can deal with your children properly while going through a divorce and afterward, you need to first understand how it affects them.

Even though children can be quite resilient when it comes to bearing things, sometimes more than youngers, we do need to keep in mind that something like divorce causes them a lot of anxiety as well. They start questioning their existence and their role in the marriage, which can negatively affect their minds. What a child needs during this challenging period is proper guidance and parenting. To make sure that you have all your bases covered, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of ways a divorce may affect a child so you can be better prepared to help them through the event.

Poor Academic Performance

It is a common observation that one of the biggest impacts divorces can have on a child is a drop in their academic performance. Seeing their parents going through a divorce can make it difficult for children to concentrate on their studies. They spend a lot of their time questioning the dynamics of marriage and the family, trying to figure out where they stand. It can be a huge distraction for any mind, and the constant confusion it puts in the brain of a child can lead to a significant drop in their academic performance.

Each child has their own reaction to divorce, and the harder they take it, the worse the results can be concerning their academic performance. It is important to remain patient and gradually help your child adapt to the situation to bring them to refocus on their education.

Social Distancing

While this may be something that we are all doing right now, a child can do it in an entirely different way during a divorce. The stress of divorce can be quite severe on some children, and seeing a relationship come apart can affect their ability to socialize appropriately. There are many ways in which a child may become less social, so a parent must keep a close relationship with their child during this time.

There are many reasons this can happen, especially when it comes to young children. Some feel insecure about themselves since a family provides a special kind of strength to a child’s mind, and seeing it break can confuse them. Children start doubting their normalcy and questioning themselves if their family is the only one that is facing such problems.

Emotional Problems

One of the biggest problems a child can face as an effect of divorce is emotional confusion. The level of disruption that a divorce causes in the life of a child can be quite severe. It can be difficult for their young minds to process, leading to a range of different emotional issues. Each child is unique and can have different reactions to a divorce, so it is vital to understand and address them accordingly. Some of the most common emotional issues that a child can face during a divorce include the following:

–  Anger and Irritation: This is one of the most common reactions that a child can have as a cause of divorce. Not understanding what is going on with their parents’ relationship can confuse them a lot. This confusion can lead to them becoming irritable or angry. How they end up displaying this anger can vary widely, as every child has a different reaction to divorce. Some children take their anger out on their parents, others can take it out on themselves. In some cases, it can even be directed towards friends or strangers.

–  Guilt: This feeling is just as common as anger, but the results can be far more destructive. A lot of children trying to process the divorce of their parents try to solve the problem behind it. They start wondering what caused this to happen, and, in doing so, often point the finger at themselves. They begin wondering if they did something wrong, which resulted in their parents not loving each other and wanting to break up. This guilt can cause a lot of stress and lead to problems like depression or other health-related problems.

–  General Sensitivity: Another reaction that some children can show as a result of divorce is becoming more sensitive. They may end up getting easily annoyed or upset and might cry a lot more often. Mundane things can become overwhelming for no apparent reason, causing them to feel more and more burdened. Having a way to vent is very important for dealing with these emotions. Both the mother and father need to make themselves available for their child to talk. People close to the child need to pay close attention to see how they react so they can be there to help them through it.

Destructive Behavior

Another critical risk factor that can arise from a divorce is the child’s negative behavioral development. Children naturally have a lot of questions and confusion when their parents go through a divorce. Their parents must try and communicate with the child as much as possible to help them understand what is happening. Unresolved questions and internal conflicts can lead to unfortunate behavioral development, which can lead to some serious issues later in life. Children with these problems often engage in unnecessary activities, developing a generally rebellious attitude, and even take up habits harmful to their health like abuse, smoking, etc. These things can have a lifelong effect on a child’s character and lifestyle.

Health Issues

The most common reactions a child has towards divorce is anxiety and stress. These feelings can build up, putting a lot of pressure on a child’s health, and making them susceptible to sickness. Most children experiencing a divorce end up having different types of health problems and can even get sick. A common cause is a mental stress from trying to understand why the divorce is happening and trying to solve it independently. This constant thinking can result in a loss of sleep, which leads to a range of issues. While things like sleeplessness and depression may not necessarily be huge problems on their own, they often lead to the development of other more severe health conditions down the line.

Lack of Faith in Family and Marriage

Seeing your parents end their relationship can have a lot of different effects on a child, but the biggest one in terms of social norms is a lack of faith in marriage. Seeing their beloved parents suddenly hate each other and become distant can make a child question the whole institution of marriage. Since they are unable to process their parent’s issues and their role in the divorce, they start doubting the concept of marriage. It can lead to them not wanting to marry when they grow up or increase the chances of them getting divorced. According to, children of divorced parents are up to three times more likely to divorce than children from non-divorced families.


When it comes to divorce, the way children react to the change in their parent’s  relationship can vary. No two children are alike, and therefore, drawing absolutes to understand their behavior is simply not right. A lot more people are starting to understand this and are taking measures to make sure their children do not suffer due to their divorce. However, one absolute thing is the child’s need for support when their parents go through a divorce—having someone to help them guide their minds through the process can lead to much better results.


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