General Effects of Divorce on Children
Divorce is not just about you and your partner, because it is also about your children. No matter their ages, they are going to be emotionally and psychologically affected if their parents go their separate ways because of family issues. This is especially true if the divorce process or the reason behind the divorce is controversial, like when domestic violence or infidelity has been involved.
People may have different reactions to the same things, and divorce is no exception. Children will have different responses, but these responses can be generalized.
For example, young children need both mother and father for attention and care. Divorce may compromise this need and the children’s development may be affected. There are known instances where young children whose parents have divorced have regressed in terms of development, like wetting the bed again even if they have already outgrown that behavior.
If the children involved are a little older, like adolescents, things become more complicated, because their individualism makes it harder to create a generalization on how they will react to their parents’ divorce.
But typically, it is known that boys rely on aggressive and rebellious tendencies, like not wanting to obey his parents, while girls rely on their emotionally withdrawn tendencies, like not wanting to talk to her parents. These, however, can be reversed, where boys become emotionally withdrawn and girls become aggressive and rebellious.
If there is something common about all the children involved in divorce, it is a negative feeling. This negative feeling, again, will depend according to the reason behind the divorce and the children’s personality. The most common feelings include anger, bitterness, jealousy, lack of self-confidence, lack of self-worth, and stress.
These feelings may lead to destructive behaviors, such as overeating, oversleeping, under-performing in school, and refusing to form relationships, such as friendships, in fear of getting rejected. Those who are older may be prone to substance abuse, sexual engagement, and worst, suicide.