Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Emotional Effects Of Divorce On Children

When a couple is going through a divorce, the children are often the ones most effected, and are often the ones that are given the least amount of attention. Children can be severely traumatized emotionally by divorce, especially if the divorce is a nasty one, and/or if there is a prolonged or an intense custody battle.

Some of the ways that a child who has been effected by a divorce might express the emotional effects of divorce can be:

– large amounts of anger, directed both toward others and themselves

– frequent breaking of rules

– drug and/or alcohol abuse

– destructive behavior

– frequent guilt

– problems with defiance

– increasing isolation or withdrawal from friends and family

– thoughts of suicide or violence

– increased or early sexual activity

– a failure to acknowledge responsibility.

Some children are emotionally effected more by divorce than others. However, all children will be effected by a divorce. The things that parents do and dont do will greatly impact exactly how much a child is effected by the divorce. In addition, the childs gender, age, psychological health, and maturity will also all effect how a divorce impacts a child.

The biggest emotional area that is affected by divorce is the area of self image or self esteem. Many of these changes are due to a change in the way that a child views himself or herself. They may believe that they themselves caused the divorce, or that they did something wrong that made mommy and/or daddy want to not be with them. This can cause a child to feel sad, depressed, and angry.

In a divorce, children are also affected in the area of emotional security. Fears that both parents will abandon the child are common, as are fears about what will happen to them next. In addition, the absence of one of their parents can make the child feel extremely lonely. A child who has had a blow to their security may lash out uncontrollably, or he or she may quietly turn inside themselves, and avoid social contact at all. Emotionally, a lack of security can be devastating.

Divorce is emotionally draining for everyone involved. This is especially true for children, who generally don’t have any say over what is happening around them and to them. The loss of control, the harm to their self esteem, and the loss of security can provoke a wide range of emotions, from sadness to anger, from depression to mania. If your child is going through a divorce, you should make sure that he or she has the resources that he or she needs, both from you and from other family members, friends, and even professional counselors, therapists, or psychologists to address these emotional issues before they become destructive.

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