Divorce affects children in a different way, depending on their gender, age as well as stage of development. Their world, their security and their constancy seems to fall apart when their parents get divorced. This paper discusses the universal responses that researchers have found among children of divorce, furthermore, recommendations for divorces parents have been discussed as well. The reference page appends 6 sources in APA format.
Family is the place to which everyone belongs and where everyone begins life, thus it is the pillar of a society. The flourishing and prosperity of an individual and family depends upon the close relationship and belongings with other family members. But this family starts suffering when the parents reject each other by divorce or getting separated or never come close to each other.
The impact Divorce has on children
Since many divorcing families include children, therefore because of this rejection, the children are the first ones who get affected. Their strength does not get developed as it must have to be resulting in weakness of their character building and which is obvious from addictions, deprivation, abuse and failure. The children thrive when there is a strong relationship between their parents but when the parents divorce or walk away from each other many children wilt and not thrive as much as when their parents were together and belonged to each other.
Children whose parents get separated start feeling vulnerable since beginning of the divorce. They feel bereavement due to the disintegration of the intact family. There are some children who are not aware of the trouble going on between their parents, so they feel a great pain and feeling of powerlessness because they lose the non-custodial parents, this all results in reaction in the form of severe anger. (Clarke, 1995)
Other than grief and further traumatic events, children start noticing the impetuous beginning of transformation in their lives, and also experience the dissolving of normal and usual systems, which are distinctive to divorcing families
The divorcing parents are often worried about their children that what would be the effect on them. Although parents are more concerned about their own problems during that period, they are the most important people in the lives of their children.
Children are consistently scared and puzzled about the threats of their protection and security, whether parents get relieved or devastated from this divorce. For few parents, divorce overwhelms and hurts them so much that they possibly turn to their children for ease and comfort. Parents must explain their children the whole situation that what is going to happen to them and how they are involved so that children should not misinterpret divorce. Children might start acting in the manner that is troublesome and irritating for the beginning few years of divorce. (Amato, 1991)
Most of the parents perceive divorce as their issue that the other person has done wrong and it is impossible for him or her to live with that person. By doing this they are actually ignoring their children. Their marital relationship experience inconsistency of loyalty it has extensive implications for children friends, extended families and others. Some of the points of views of children in divorcing families are discussed below.
The children of a divorcing family are well aware of the disturbance and change caused by the divorce and they know that the past will not come again and nothing will be same again. All the things will get change including their time table will change and all the contacts with the other relatives will lose resulting in upheaval.
Children in a divorcing family fear that if they will lose one of their parents due to divorce, they might lose the other. So they are threatened of being left alone in the world. They also fear of losing the strong relationship they have with their relatives, siblings, friends and especially their parents to whom they are naturally attached. Being attached to all these since their birth, it is very difficult for them to adjust in the new surroundings and forget the previous ones easily. Since divorce is followed by the number of years stress and tension between the two partners, both parents want to turn their child towards them and against the other and it is a very difficult situation for that child. (Pfeffe, 1981)
Why children are influenced by Divorce
Due to divorce, children whole world is changed and their lives become unstable. Divorce affect varies from children gender, age, personality, the support provided by the family and friends and their stage of development. Parents must make sure that the development of their children should not get affected and does not face any conflict, for that they have to make arrangements on childcare and parenting.
Since infants dont know much about the situation, they only react to parents indifferent mood and changed energy level. While preschool children within 3 to 5 years of age mostly believe that they are the main cause of their parents divorce. This age children are threatened of being deserted and left alone. They might start acting like small babies and start denying the change which has come to them. They may get stubborn, disobedient, dishearten, aggressive and annoyed. It is very difficult for the school going children to adjust easily for the divorce.
It is very difficult for the school going children to adjust easily for the divorce. Although they are old enough to realize and are hurt because of their parents divorce, but too young to manage their pains and control their reactions. (Roman, 1978)
They feel great anger, discomfiture, resentment, grief, and divided loyalty. This age children continue hoping that their parents might recoup again. Children of elementary age feel themselves rejected by their divorced parents. Adolescent children in divorcing families also experience aloneness, stress, anger, embarrassment and anger. They are forcibly put into adulthood if they have younger siblings and they want to take their responsibility.
Some adolescents take control of the family by responding to their parents high stress level and low energy level. They might feel doubtful of their own capabilities to handle their own married life and decide not to get married. They understand the main cause of their parents separation. The potential of teens to keep in mind the stress and conflict of divorce may get in the way to the potential to help the family to cope up.
Boys in a divorcing family experience more difficulties than girls. In school going children girls possibly experience stress and depression, while boys prove to be more aggressive and use to quarrel on foolish things. But in adolescence, as a whole both girls and boys possibly engage in abusive activities and experience great depression. Getting involved in sexual activities is one of the habits being adopted by the adolescent girls. These types of habits can have a great influence on their entering into the workforce and completion of their school studies.
On the other hand boys of this age are involved in taking abusive substances and drugs, make abusive friends and show the wrong attitude. Teen age boys are likely to become parents by getting involved in the sexual activities. This all is observed mainly when the boys are raised by the mothers and girls are raised by fathers.
The children usually feel insecure and are angry about their parents separations but sometimes do not express their anger. They feel themselves helpless when they realize that their parents would not come back together. They have a feeling that may be parents have no more love for them and may be they have also being divorced by their parents.
While children are raised by the parents of opposite gender, that is girls being looked after their mothers and boys by their father, prove to do better than the previous ones.
Girls being looked after by their mothers prove to be more mature dependable and responsible then being raised by fathers since they are strongly attached and influenced by their mothers. While boys raised by fathers are less aggressive and help their fathers in their work.
Some children in a divorcing family prove to be exceptionally resilient individual since they have faced such kind of challenges and responsibilities due to divorce. Due to such kinds of experiences they prosper and a very strong relationship is being developed among the children and the spouse, with whom they are living. It happens mostly with the girls living with their mothers.
Many children have a belief that they are the main cause of the divorce and can bring their parents back together. For this sometimes they sacrifice their own lives.
The effect in the academics is one of the most important impacts on the children in a divorcing family. Even if they are best in studies and always score good grades, during and after the period of their parents separation their grades tend to decrease and they give poorer result. This difference is obvious from the children overall performance. Parents and teachers have to analyze the main problem and help their child to cope us with it and improve his performance but mostly what happens is that they underestimate those children.
Because of this ignorance they are involved in bad habits and their behavior starts getting changed and they spend less time in school and more time with their abusive peers. This happens mostly with boys whose behavior change into more aggressiveness.
While girls are distressed from the current situation are not able to give concentration on their studies and also not giving their 100% effort. If this continues for children, it affects their lives and they never achieve any success in future.
The children usually feel rejected, insecure, torn between parents and are angry about their parents separations but sometimes do not express their anger. They feel themselves helpless when they realize that their parents would not come back together. They have a feeling that may be parents have no more love for them and may be they have also being divorced by their parents.
They mourn and grieve since they feel that they are at a great loss and feel guilty for the whole situation. They feel that they would also do the same in their lives and they would not prove to be good parents when they will get married. This reduces their confidence and they stop taking part in activities other than academics or even academics. They think that their friends would make joke of them and their family which loses their confidence and thus cannot talk with others eye to eye.
Divorce, if not handled carefully can have bad effects which cannot be controlled. Divorce requires rebuilding the family since beginning and it is in the hand of parents that hot they restructure the whole family, and if it is not maintained effectively it produces adverse effects. Parents should give special care to children especially on occasions such as their birthdays and religious holidays, if not, and then children might feel insecurity so parents should not forget their responsibility and they should not let their child feel that he is alone in this world. (William, 1998)
Step families, either step father or mother is the main threat for children, especially for young aged children. Mostly it has been observed that step father or mother do not give attention and care to their step children, in fact they sometimes start hating them. This also let the children to feel insecure. If there are any step brothers or sisters, and children try to make relationship with them or live their lives as how their step siblings are living, they fail to do so which results in aggression, stress and anger and involving in the bad habits.
Recommendations for parents
Speak to family regarding your concerns linked to the divorce. This will facilitate them realize what is going on.
Spend regular time with your children. Maintain a familiar routine as much as possible. Keep your commitments and the promises you make to your children.
If your children have pre-existing psychological, expressive or emotional troubles
Look for recommendation and consultation from a qualified health care expert Perform a kind, however firm, style of discipline. Admit childrens approach of annoyance. Facilitate them find satisfactory ways of expressing this annoyance without hurting themselves, other people, animals, or belongings.
Give the nurturing and love that your children require, whereas setting firm limits on fierceness and other unsuitable performance.
Express that you are concerned in your childs views, however make it obvious that parents are in charge for the judgments. This can be a great support and can help you deal successfully with your kids and partner.
If you cant or dont know how to make things better for your child, dont make matters worse.
Build as only some changes as probable. This will aid your kid feel that, regardless of the difficulties, loved ones still care regarding them and that life can be rationally standard.
It takes more than 2 years for kids to adjust to their parents divorce. Considerate and keeping in close contact with your children, you will assist them develop into well-adjusted and creative adults by means of love. (Hetherington, 1998)
Divorce is the collapsing of married couple and their family. For children it is very difficult to absorb their parents divorce. In support of obvious reasons, divorce appears to be very stressful for children. This trauma results in long term behavioral change which is atypical unmanageable, and conceivably continual and persistent. For children, divorce is a severely traumatic experience irrespective of their development stage and age group.
Most of the children are already prepared for their parents separation as they are well aware of the situation and thus are ready for the impending divorce And those who are not prepared, for them and their lives divorce plays a devastating role. It usually takes 2 to 3 years or more for children to get adjust to their parents divorce. Parents can help out their children to become well established and productive adults, by giving them love, caring, understanding and getting in touch and having close relations with their children,
Pfeffer, C.R. (1981). Developmental issues among children of separation and divorce In: I.R. Stuart & L.E. Abt (Eds.). Children of separation and divorce: Management and treatment (pp. 20-32). Atlanta: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Roman, M., and Haddad, W. (1978). The disposable parent. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Wilson.
Amato, Paul R., & Keith, Bruce. (1991). Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A metaanalysis. Psychological Bulletin, 110(1), 26-46.
Clarke, S. C. (1995). Advanced report of final marriage statistics: 1989 and 1990. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 43(12) Supplement.
Hetherington, E. Mavis; Bridges, Margaret; & Insabella, Glendessa M. (1998). What matters? What does not? Five perspectives on the association between marital transitions and childrens adjustment. American Psychologist, 53(2), 167-184.
Jeynes, William H. (1998). Does divorce or remarriage have the greater negative impact on the academic achievement of children? Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 29(1-2), 79-100.