As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I’ve helped many couples over the last 15 years to save their marriage. But in some occasions clients chose to end their marriage and go separate ways. In most cases the breakdown starts with lack of communication. Which can lead to lack of intimacy, extra-marital affairs, substance abuse and even domestic violence.
How divorce affects kids- Statistics
According to the article, as many as 60% of marriages end in divorce. Regardless of the socioeconomic status or cultural background a child has the potential to be affected long-term by the divorce of his or her parents. At the very least, most children experience short term developmental disruptions. They undergo a certain degree of emotional distress (Palosaari and Aro, 1994).
Children of divorces often exhibit certain psychological, social, academic and behavioral problems as well (Amato, Loomis and Booth, 1995). While some of these impacts are short term others are long term and can continue well into adulthood (Amato, Loomis and Booth, 1995).
How divorce effects kids- Age groups
The age of children matters very much when it comes to divorce. See it is not the same for all children and each age group in the divorce process because each has its own challenges (California study on divorce, Wallerstein and Kelly). The pre-dominant feelings were anger, anxiety, and fear of abandonment. There was a pervasive sense of loss. One-half of the children were tearful and moody. In addition, one-third showed depressive symptoms such as sleeplessness, restlessness and difficulty concentrating.
How divorce affects kids- preschoolers
For preschoolers, there might be fear of abandonment issues so it is key to provide them with additional reassurance and feelings of security. Younger children may regress developmentally. For example such as wetting the bed or sucking a finger.
Most sadness was experienced by 6 -8 year olds. They didn’t use the fantasy as younger children to avoid the reality. They missed their fathers intensely and were also grieving the loss. It is important to talk to them and acknowledge their intense feelings of grief and loss.
How divorce affects kids-Nine to twelve-year-olds
Nine to twelve-year-olds reacted predominantly with anger which was typically directed toward the parent who appeared responsible for the divorce. What may help is let them express their anger in a constructive way, including drawing and art therapy.
How divorce affects kids-Nine to twelve-year-olds
On the other hand, teenagers, thirteen to eighteen-year-olds, reported being angry with their parents who started dating again. Which they experienced as competition with their own emerging sexuality. They also felt anxiety about whether the break up and how this would affect their own relationships.
It is interesting to note that children who grew up in low-conflict marriages had a more difficult transition. It would appear they couldn’t understand why their parents are getting divorced. On the other hand, children in high-conflict marriages were somewhat relieved that their parents are separating. They felt some relief from tension and arguments.
How divorce affects kids-Summation
In summary, children can be severely affected as a result of the divorce. The key is for parents to provide nurturing and support. To put their differences aside and instead focus on the well-being of the children and learn about co-parenting. Consistency is extremely important. This is so that children don’t experience two set of rules which can be confusing for them.
Holistic Coaching International Summer Special for Online Therapy Sessions *All summer long! Save $50.00 off your next online therapy session
Pay only $99. for each online therapy session. Available now through 8/30/20
“After my mother passed away and I felt as though I was at a crossroads in my life as well as in my relationship, I sought the help of Mateja. Without pressure or judgment, she helped me come to grips with the decision I ultimately had to make and gave me tools to use in order to come to that difficult decision. She provided me with many helpful tips, tools and resources to achieve my goals in life that I will continue to use throughout my life. I learned a great deal from Mateja and her methods and am grateful I sought help from her.” ~AD
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: