Effects of Divorce on Children

by Eddie Tobey - Date: 2006-12-08 - Word Count: 350 Share This!

Divorce of parents is certainly a traumatic experience for many children. Children are affected by divorce in many ways, depending upon their age, gender and developmental stage. Over 1 million American children suffer from the divorce of their parents each year.

Studies show that children of parents undergoing a divorce are often concerned about fear of change, fear of being abandoned, loss of attachment and hostility between parents. Children often find themselves caught in an emotional trauma during these times. Research shows that divorce results in a relatively higher incidence of depression in children. It sometimes leads to aggressive, hyperactive and impulsive disorders. It has been found that divorce belittles the child's capacity to handle differences in life. Moreover, these emotional disturbances can continue for as long as 30 years, depending upon the child's personality and maturity. If the pain is too severe, then serious cerebrations of suicide may also occur. Otherwise, they grieve as they would mourn a death.

A divorce often pulls children back from active group participation in the classroom and from family and friends. Social Science research reveals that children from divorced families have lower graduation rates from high school, and the dropouts from school are twice that in intact families.

The impact of divorce on children varies and can be moderated to some degree by the support of other family members. Parents should be able to reduce their children's grief by talking to them, listening to them and spending some time with them on a regular basis. It is always good for children to have close relationships with other relatives. Parenting plans that would allow both parents sensible access to children can be developed. If the situation demands, professional help can also be obtained.

Parents should be reasonable and flexible about holidays, vacations and other occasions, keeping in mind the best interests of their children. They must attempt to make kids understand that a divorce does not necessarily mean the end of a family. Studies show that children cope best with divorce when they continue to have a stable and loving relationship with their parents even after the event.

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