The Impact of Divorce on Children

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The Impact of Divorce on Children

Effects of Divorce on Children
When parents have a decision to get divorced their children always have difficult time to cope with the stress associated with the new family system. Normally the child will exhibit certain actions that will have been resulted from the separation. The child will show signs of anxiety, fear, agitation, anger, sadness, social adjustment difficulty, depression, impulsivity and aggression. The child will also be affected by reduced social care as a result of reduced income which was initially contributed by the other parent. Separation of their parents will therefore destroy the attachment formed before, this makes them feel insecure. Several factors will determine these effects such as the birth order of the children and the gender of the children; boys will react differently to the missing parent compared to the girls. On the contrary, a divorce could save the children from the consequences they would face by living with conflicting parents. Effects of Low Economic Status on a Child as a Result of Divorce When parents decide to get a divorce it means that the family income reduces by the proportion of the income contribution from the missing parent. This means that the child will now start missing some of the things he or she would be provided when both the parents were together. The available income would not be enough to give some of the luxuries a child would really want to have. The kind of care provided to a growing child will proportionately affect her social and cognitive development. Wallenstein (1991) writes that children who are from an intact well off families and are provided with all their needs tend to perform well in class work and they have good social skills displayed by their fast ability to create and maintain friendships. This will imply that the child facing such changes has to start adjusting to the new economic status. The decreased standard of living could be a major source of depression to many children. They may be required to change schools, change homes and they may have to bear more responsibilities when they are only young. A lower economic status for the single parent could imply that the parent could be stressed and he or she maybe emotionally unavailable for the children. The children will therefore give their whole focus on the negative impacts they are facing as a result of a divorce without considering the fact that other single parent’s homes are just doing fine. How Younger and Older Children React to Divorce A preschooler will react in a different way form the manner in which a 4th or a 5th grader will react to her parents’ divorce. The belief of a child concerning divorce matures or evolves with time as the child develops. Awareness to what is happening and sensitivity to differences in a child’s developmental reaction to divorce will determine the kind of effects or adjustments the child will have in short term or long term. As a result of their limited abilities in cognitive performance, preschoolers will be baffled by the separation of their parents. They do not have the coping skills that can assist them to deal with the associated changes of divorce, a factor that puts them to at a higher risk of experiencing problems with adjustments than a 5th grader would. At this stage, children aged less than five years are more egocentric and they tend to blame themselves for their parents divorce. They may be obliged to bear the responsibility to ensure that their parents come back together to be a family. Kim (2011) suggests that the younger children, under the age of six tend to be needy emotionally. They are more afraid of being abandoned and they may be seen displaying behaviors of acting out after their parents’ separation. During visit exchanges, the...
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