Understanding the Negative Effect of Divorce on Children

negative effect of divorce on children

In the United States, half of all children will witness their parents getting a divorce. If you’re a parent going through a divorce and wondering what negative effects it will have on your children, then you’ve come to the right place. 

When it comes to the negative effect of divorce on children there are many different feelings and emotions that children will face, but there are also ways you can talk with them and help them understand it.

This is a very delicate time for you and your children so you won’t want to say the wrong things. 

Keep reading for our guide to help you understand the negative effect of divorce on children and ways you can help them cope with this new change. 

Problems at School

The first noticeable change that your children may face when their parents are going through a divorce is having more problems at school. Going through a divorce can be very stressful for children meaning that they may start to let their grades slip. Sometimes it is difficult to focus in school or at home on homework when your child is thinking about their problems at home. 

They may also begin to misbehave at school as well. Children can become upset and angry and therefore begin to lash out or misbehave at school. It can be emotionally draining to deal with your parents getting a divorce, so they may begin to not care about their behavior at school. 

As a parent, you need to be there for them during this time especially when it comes to school. Make sure to devote extra time and attention to helping them get their homework finished. You should also provide them with breakfast before school, so they can start the day in a positive way. 

Less Interest in Social Activities

During your divorce, you may notice that your children have less interest in participating in social activities with their friends or classmates. This is because children who are going through a divorce have a more difficult time relating to other children. Your child may feel sad and emotionally drained so they won’t want to hang around with other children who are happy. 

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Another factor in your children wanting to lessen their social activities is because they may feel insecure about their family dynamic compared to other children. As parents, you need to make sure that you’re always there ready to support your children. This could be done by picking them up from school, attending their sports games or other school activities, as well as hosting a play day with their friends. 

You may notice a significant change if your child was a social butterfly before the divorce started. Sit down and talk with your children and let them know not everyone is perfect. They may begin to understand that all families have problems and they shouldn’t be ashamed of their own problems. 

Living Somewhere New

As your divorce goes on your children will also be forced to live somewhere new as well as split up their time between parents. This can take a huge toll on children because it will be a huge lifestyle change. Your child is going from spending all of their time at their own home to either moving altogether or splitting time between a new house. 

Adapting to change might be something that your child struggles with especially when it is such a big lifestyle change. Your best bet is to try to keep their lives as regular as possible and slowly add in new things along the way.

Talk your child through the change and let them know each step of the way what will be happening. This is the best way to prep your child for the big changes that will be coming in their life. 

Even though you may already have a good understanding of who your children will be living with and splitting their time with you may still need to seek professional help. Make sure you get in contact with the best divorce lawyers, so you and your spouse can determine the distribution of your property as well as agree on a child support payment. 

Feelings of Guilt

One thing that may cross your child’s mind is feelings of guilt when they find out their parents are getting a divorce. They may think that they are the reason for their parents splitting up. Maybe if they did better in school or at a sport, or just behaved better in general, then their parents would still be together. 

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Children will often look for reasons why their parents are getting a divorce and will sometimes end up blaming themselves. When you’re child starts to feel guilty for the divorce, then this could lead to a plethora of different things. They may feel more pressure, which can lead to depression, stress, anxiety, or other health problems. 

As a parent going through a divorce you need to provide your children the tools so they know that it isn’t their fault. If you feel as if you can’t get through to them, then you should reach out to a psychologist or therapist who can help your child through the divorce.

Sometimes children can get more accomplished when they talk to a professional about their problems. You may also consider going to family counseling so you can all be together and work on any issues within the family that you all might have. 

Dealing With the Negative Effect of Divorce on Children

When it comes to dealing with the negative effect of divorce on children, there are going to be many different emotions, feelings, and actions that your children will have. Just know that these are normal!

Divorce is hard for the entire family but as a parent, you need to remember to put your child first. Make sure that both parents are still spending a significant amount of time with your child. You will also want to try to keep their schedule as normal as possible and slowly bring in change. 

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