The impact of divorce on children

A divorce is a hard experience for anyone to handle. It can be especially hard on children who are caught in the middle of it.

If you are a parent going through a divorce, understanding the impact on your children is critical. These are a few key facts to know.

Common emotions

There are a few emotions that children commonly feel during a divorce. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Shock
  • Disbelief
  • Anger

These are a few of the main emotions, but many children may feel others. For example, moving between homes may create a feeling on instability, and a parent moving away, even if simply for a job, may feel like abandonment to a child. Understanding and addressing these emotions head on is very important.

Emotional impact

Divorce can have a strong impact on children, whether they are younger or grown adults. When negative feelings or experiences arise due to the divorce, and no one addressed them, they can develop into serious issues down the line. Sometimes those issues can manifest physically, such as in anxiety attacks. In other instances, the impact may be internal and affect the child's mental and emotional health, such as depression.

It is important to note that not all negative emotions may be linked to the divorce. As children grow and go through stages, other factors of life may bring adverse emotions as well. However, without the proper support, the child may not be able to properly unpack his or her feelings, which can lead to the issues compounding. 

Though it may not be possible to shield a child from all the negative impact of a divorce, understanding it can aid parents in determining the best way to proceed in maintaining stability for the child. There are also steps parents can take to minimize the harmful effects of divorce on children.

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