How Does Divorce Affect Children?

Divorce and Kids

The bigger question may be how it wouldn’t affect the children in a divorced family. Unless known from having seen another’s experience with divorce (an immediate family member or friend), you might not know the repercussions of such an action that will redefine their little world for the present and near future.

Some kids do better than others

Their world is perfect no more, shattered to say the least, though one day they will get over it. In a sense life will never be the same, some will adapt swimmingly and others will continue to struggle well after everyone else has adjusted.

In fact, experts say that depending on age this is when some children individualize themselves and start to realize what they want in life, or use this new found passion as a release, while others continue to feel lost and untrusting of others.

Some children withdraw socially and just don’t act like themselves. It is best to monitor from a distance, giving the necessary space and “alone-time” to deal with the situation.

Harder time managing relationships

Children from a divorced family have more difficulty in maintaining long-standing relationships.

Stay in tune with your child, do not overreact, comfort them and answer questions. If they are asking questions about themselves (i.e., “Is it my fault?”) it usually means that they are upset and depressed by the situation.

If they are asking how you are doing with certain things or concentrating on family issues to improve stability and offering to help in any way, this means you are doing a good job. This is rare and you should sometimes be happy with the old adage ‘No news is good news.’ It does not mean that you shouldn’t inquire with questions on your own from time to time.

Sometimes an outsider is good

One thing rarely considered is that another grown-up can really help ease pressure on the situation. A trusted adult that the child likes and respects can always do damage control and at least run interference when man and wife are working out problems.

It is important that this adult doesn’t have an agenda (such as an allegiance to the husband or wife) and who is just there to offer support.

Telling the children

Handling the divorce is the key issue. When first told, do it together with both parties present with all the children. If you tell the youngest or oldest the other is most likely going to resent it.

You might think by treating your child to his favorite place and breaking the news there that they’ll take the news better. Usually, though, this isn’t a good idea. The circumstance has now scarred the child and they do not remember the good times had at their favorite place. This favorite place now becomes haunted to them, a painful reminder of the tragic news delivered there.

They will look within if marriage problems are not apparent. So you must assure them and keep the communication and dialog open with both parents.