Children And How Divorce Can Effect Them
Though divorce proceedings, breakup of family and the time spent without routine or certainty can impact children in many ways, the results of these divorce symptoms can usually be divided into two distinct types: physical, and mental.
The emotional impacts of divorce may be more widely understood, but it’s worth outlining their probable forms. Although each divorce is unique, councillors and psychologists have generally identified the following emotional impacts as being common.
– Guilt. Children can often be concerned that a divorce has been partly or completely caused by them. It is common for children to feel some level of guilt, even if they understand that the divorce was not entirely motivated by their behaviour they frequently accept some level of responsibility without cause.
– Responsible. Just as with the guilt aspect, children are likely to feel responsible in other ways. They may feel an obligation to care for their parents, and feel it is their responsibility to re-unite them by whatever means are available to them.
– Love loss. As a consequence of the breakdown of the family environment and parental routines, children may feel a strong sense of loss, particularly loss of love from the parent who is leaving.
– Contradictory. Children may feel contradictory about their circumstances. A child may feel relieved to be away from one parent, particularly if some form of abuse was a factor in the divorce. However, they may still feel a duty to protect and help their absent parent.
Physical impacts are more difficult to identify and quantify as they typically spring from the emotional turmoil of divorce.
– Loss of sleep. Due to anxiety, or physical circumstances which interrupt the childs usual sleep routine.
– Injury. At the extreme end of the spectrum, a child may become obstinate and aggressive in their home and school life. They may feel angry with parents and the world for the confusing course of events which have caused their situation.
These emotional and physical impacts of divorce may be subtle and hidden, or indeed very clear to their guardian. In some cases a child may work hard to maintain an image of stability in the home, this can make it difficult to talk with the child about their emotional well-being. They may, however, be less guarded in school and social life, which may provide important clues to their wellbeing.
If you suspect your child is suffering from hidden effects of divorce, or plainly visible ones, it is wise to talk with them as soon as possible. Methods to undertake this are beyond the scope of this article, but there are plenty of resources available online to give guidance on dealing with children after and during divorce.