While two individuals choose to live separately, the other party that is affected the most with this decision of a divorce are the children. Children in all their innocence starts believing that they are the reason of the divorce, according to several studies. It can hence result in self-inflicting psychological or in some cases physical harm. So, how are children affected by divorce? There is no clear-cut answer because the psychology of a child differs from the other.
First, divorce is always stressful not only for the parents but also for children. In a marriage filled with intense anger and conflict, the child does not like coming home to, no child wants to see their parents separate. This stress often leads to a breakaway from the parent-child relationships or for the most harrowing case, having to choose one of the two parent. No child should be given an option to choose between the two parents, they are both crucial for their upbringing. When they are but left with an option to choose, they loss contact with the other parent. As such, divorce only increases conflict and add more economic hardships such as legal, childcare, change of school, location and so on. With divorce, children are also faced with the hardship of experiencing a whole new different social life which never comes easy for them.
Second, the more frequent factor with divorce for children is the risk of them suffering from psychological and behavioural problems. Children starts to develop problems such as frequent anger, depression, disobedience, and rule violations. They start developing a rebellious behaviour. As such, it hugely affects their lives and academic achievement. They become depressed, anxious, develop habits of substance abuse and their fear of seeing the separation leads them to become overly responsible kids who end up being the care-giver rather than the one being cared for. The saddest of it all, they do not get to enjoy their childhood.
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It is true, most children get over with time. After all, time is the greatest healer. However, as responsible parents, children need to know what is going on, talk to them, reassure them that it is OK to ask questions. Continue to carry on maintaining the usual routine like seeing members of the extended family, and consider their views as you would yours.