Psychological and Physiological Effects of Divorce on Children

Sometimes, married people may realize later in life that they are not compatible with each other. Some decide to tolerate the situation, maybe for the sake of their children or for different reasons. However, some choose to call it quits. In some cases, people divorce amicably, while in other instances, divorce causes many problems, especially for children. For example, the divorcees may not agree on child support, leading to continuous court sessions to settle the matter. Besides that, divorce has some psychological and physiological effects on children.

Psychological and Physiological Effects

When parents separate, their children’s mental health becomes vulnerable to severe conditions. However, some rebound faster than others. As a divorcee, there are several steps you can take to help your child deal with abrupt changes. Such efforts include co-parenting peacefully, monitoring your child, and teaching them different coping skills. The psychological effects that children get from divorce include:

Behavioral Changes

Delinquency, behavior disorders, and impulse behaviors are some of the changes seen in most children from divorced families. In most cases, this is brought about by the fact that the parents are too busy working on their divorce, lacking time to accordingly guide their children or teenagers. Such children will also be involved more in conflict with peers.

Poor Academic Performance

When it comes to academics, children whose parents have divorced are likely to perform poorly. Nonetheless, this scenario can be different depending on how the children were prepared for the divorce. If the separation happened abruptly, children from such a family would most probably perform poorly academically. On the flip side, if the children knew that the divorce was likely to happen, they would not have a problem concentrating on school work.

High-risk Behaviors

This is mainly seen in teenagers and adolescents from divorced families. The best examples of high-risk behaviors include substance and drug abuse, alcoholism, and early sexual engagement. Research has it that children who were five years old or younger during their parents’ divorce are likely to be sexually engaged before hitting 16 years. Being away from fathers has also been associated with having multiple sexual partners during the adolescent and teenage years.

How to Help Children Adjust to Divorce

Parents and society as a whole have the responsibility to help young people cope with a divorce to prevent the above-discussed effects. Kids who experience divorce in their early years may have more relationship issues later in life. Therefore, it is recommendable to try the following tips to help them adjust to the changes;

Co-parent Amicably

Even if you are divorced, the children remain your responsibility. Do not show any hostility, such as screaming and threatening each other in the presence of the child. If you deem it difficult to co-parent with your ex-partner, it is time to seek professional guidance.

Monitor the Teens

Keeping an eye on your child and monitoring their company is the best way to help them avoid exhibiting any behavior issues after a divorce. That will help them do well in school and not engage in drug use.

Embrace Discipline

Instilling discipline in your child means establishing rules appropriate for their age and sticking to the consequences where necessary.

Have Healthy Relationships

After divorce, your children may feel rejected and end up taking the wrong direction in life. Offering parental love and warmth, minimizing conflict, and positive communication can go a long way in helping your child cope with a divorce.

Divorce can be tough on adults, too, but children are the most affected. The above information is meant to help you understand the effects of separation on young people and how you can help them cope with the situation. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, the best option is to seek professional help.