10 Impacts of Divorce on Children and Tips for Maintaining Their Mental Health
The impact of divorce on children may vary. It depends on the child’s age at the time of the divorce, the conditions that led to the divorce, and the child’s personality. Please note, this situation can leave hurt feelings that will continue to carry into adulthood.
Recognizing the Impact of Divorce on Children
Divorce is a nightmare for anyone who has a household. However, the emergence of various kinds of problems in the family makes reasons for divorce often appear as a final solution.
The following are the various impacts of divorce on a child’s personality need parents know, including:
1. Make it More Aggressive
The effect of divorce on children can actually make a child more aggressive, especially when the divorce is done when the child enters his teens.
Divorce makes a child more adventurous and more determined to live life on their own terms.
2. Difficult to Regulate Emotions
Children of divorce victims will struggle more during the first year or two after the divorce. The impact is the emergence of feelings of anxiety, distrust, and difficulty managing emotions.
Even so, many children who are victims of divorce can get up and get used to the changes they are experiencing. However, there are also some children who cannot return to a completely ‘normal’ condition as before.
3. Frustrating Children
Basically, divorce creates emotional turmoil for the whole family, but for children, the situation can be frightening, confusing, and overwhelming. frustrated.
Children who are victims of divorce, especially those who are young, often find it difficult to understand why they have to choose between their father or mother.
The impact of divorce on children will make him worry if the parents stop loving each other or the feelings of the parents will stop loving him.
In fact, a child may worry whether the divorce was caused by something he did wrong.
4. Not Having Closeness with Parents
An automatic divorce will make the child less likely to communicate with his father or mother. Lack of direct contact with one parent can cause a child to feel less attached to either parent.
This condition can cause a child to spend a lot of time outside the home rather than with the family.
5. Higher Stress Levels
A study revealed that the stress level of children is much higher with a single parenting style. But for some children, the parents’ divorce is not the most difficult part.
Stress that occurs is additional stress after divorce such as changing schools or moving to a new place of residence.
Also Read: Tips for Controlling Emotions So You Don’t Get Angry at Children
6. Having sex at an early age
The impact of divorce on children, especially in their teens, is that they put them at high risk of becoming sexually active before the age of 16. Another effect that can occur is that a child has a habit of consuming alcohol and using illegal drugs earlier.
7. Influence Academic Value
A study shows that the impact of divorce on children can affect their academic abilities at school. Parental divorce was also associated with higher absenteeism and dropout rates.
The more distractions that occur after a divorce, the more difficult it is for a child to focus on schoolwork.
8. Loss of Interest in Social Activities
A study shows that the impact of divorce on children can affect their social relationships. Children whose families go through divorce may have difficulty relating to others and tend to have less social contact.
9. Become More Sensitive
The impact of divorce on children can also make them sensitive individuals. The feelings of loss, anger, confusion, anxiety, and many others encountered during this transition can make children feel more emotionally sensitive.
10. Increased Health Problems
The impact of divorce on children is related to other conditions such as stress or difficulty sleeping. If this condition is not treated, not only the mental condition will be affected but the physical condition can also be affected, namely the overall health of the body will decrease.
Nowthose are the various impacts of divorce on children that parents must know.
Also Read: Bonding with Children: Benefits and How to Make It Happen
How to Maintain Children’s Mental Health If Parents Divorce
After knowing the various bad effects of divorce on children, it should be noted that the psychological effects of divorce can last a long time.
Seeing the negative impacts that can continue into adulthood, parents must realize that they play a major role in how children adjust to the changes that occur.
Here are some ways you can try to maintain mental health:
- Don’t put your child in the ‘middle position’. Asking children to choose which parent they like best can make them more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
- Maintain a good relationship with children. Positive communication, parental warmth, and low levels of conflict can help children adjust.
- Healthy parent-child relationships have been shown to help children develop higher self-esteem and better academic performance after divorce.
- Apply consistent rules. Set age-appropriate rules and follow up with consequences when necessary. Studies show high discipline after divorce reduces delinquency and improves academic ability.
- Help your child feel safe and comfortable. Fear of abandonment and worry about the future can cause a lot of anxiety. However, helping children feel loved, safe, and comfortable can reduce the risk of mental health problems.
One important thing that should not be overlooked is empowering your child. A child who doubts his ability to deal with change—seeing himself as a helpless victim—is more likely to have mental health problems.
Even though divorce is a difficult thing, reassure your child that he or she has the strength to handle it.
However, if the effects of this divorce last a long time on children, it seems that parents need professional help. Individual therapy can help children to regulate their emotions, besides that family therapy is also recommended to deal with dynamic changes in the family.
- Anonymous. What Are the Effects of Divorce on Children?. https://www.familymeans.org/effects-of-divorce-on-children.html. (Accessed 19 May 2020).
- Morins, Amy. 2019. The Psychological Effects of Divorce on Children. https://www.verywellfamily.com/psychological-effects-of-divorce-on-kids-4140170. (Accessed 19 May 2020).
- Pickhardt, Carl E. 2011. The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201112/the-impact-divorce-young-children-and-adolescents. (Accessed 19 May 2020).
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