Why Children Feel Responsible For Divorce

Divorce is a tragedy not only for the couple involved, but also for the child or children who go through a divorce. There are many aspects of a divorce that can make a child or children feel responsible for divorce.

First and foremost, children who go through a divorce feel a great sense of loss. Even if a parent is involved still with the child, the parent is still not physically present as much as they were in the past. In addition, Children who go through a divorce often face issues with self esteem. In a divorce, children are also affected in the area of 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.

Children who go through a divorce sometimes believe that they are responsible for the divorce. They might have overheard their parents arguing about something, and mistakenly think that it was the child that they were arguing about. At other times, children might see divorce as a form of punishment; they believe that they must have done something wrong for mommy or daddy to not want to live with them anymore.

If a child custody arrangement is difficult or nasty, a child will often feel as though they are at the center of the dispute. Indeed, because most people believe that their children are their most precious possession, a fight for custody can be extremely heated, and very emotional; this emotion carries over onto the child.

In some cases, parents try to use a child or children as a sort of a pawn in a game with their former spouse. In these instances, a child’s self worth is severely damaged, and the child is also more likely to feel responsible for the divorce.

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.

A divorce affects a family’s structure and operating procedures. In some cases, a divorce will mean that a child literally loses a parent, only to see them once or twice in a year, or even less. This can also cause a child to lose contact with the family of the non-custodial parent, as the child may be less and less likely to see those grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins. Basic logistics, such as holidays, birthday parties, and school activities are also affected by a divorce.

Some of the ways that a child who has been affected by a divorce might express these difficulties can include:

– 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 affected more by divorce than others. However, all children will be affected by a divorce. The things that parents do and dont do will greatly impact exactly how much a child is affected by the divorce. In addition, the child’s gender, age, psychological health, and maturity will also all affect how a divorce impacts a child.

Divorce will not be easy for a parent; but a parent is a grown adult who has (hopefully) mastered coping skills. Children, on the other hand, are not necessarily as prepared as an adult in this regard. If you are going through a divorce and have children, you need to make the way that the divorce affects them your top priority.