Divorces are messy and chaotic, and I hate to say it, but no matter how heartfelt your wedding vows were you have a considerable likelihood of getting a divorce per the national statistics. There is no doubt that both adults may feel defeated during the divorce proceedings, but it is the children who suffer the most trauma at such a tender age.
Parents must address contentious issues like reasonably splitting parental expenses, because it can shatter children emotionally when they see their parents fighting with each other, especially about the issue of who will pay child support. Here are the seven most common side effects of divorce on children so that if you do end up down this unfortunate path you can be aware of what to look for in your kids.
One of the most common after-effects of divorce on children is that they tend to become tense and anxious about their future. Being minors, they are dependent on both of their parents and, therefore, get anxious when they do not get the attention of both simultaneously. Moreover, anxious children find it incredibly tough to focus on studies due to poor concentration levels.
It is a common reaction of children that they start to blame themselves for the divorce. They feel that only if they were less rogue, or demanded lesser things, their parents’ relationship might have survived. As a result, they think that it is their duty to mend the relationship, and therefore, stress and pressure start to build on their fragile shoulders, which can stir several negative thoughts in them.
The constant onslaught of negative feelings like anxiety, stress, and sadness can combine and result in depression. There is strong empirical evidence available to support the claim that children of divorced parents are much more likely to experience depression as compared to children of parents who are still together.
Mood swings and irritability
Under the enormous burden of negative feelings, children start to experience mood swings and grumpiness. As a result, they begin to lash out to vent their frustration, even at the people with whom they share close bonds.
Friends may be one of the best tools to help children cope with a divorce, however, many kids may start to isolate themselves socially. They may not want to talk about what is happening, or they may feel embarrassed or sad and angry about the situation. This social isolation could push them into a further depression if left to go on too long.
Failure to build relationships
Children of divorced parents can struggle to build relationships when they grow up because they find themselves unable to resolve conflicts. Moreover, they lose faith in the institution of marriage and feel that no relationship can be trusted as people cannot live in harmony.
Depression induced grumpiness can make the children aggressive, and a considerable number of them vent their aggression by taking up criminal activities. While not always the case, there are various studies that report that children of separated parents are much more likely to develop criminal behaviors, such as vandalism, substance abuse, and stealing, etc., as compared to other children.
If you are going through a divorce or have gone through one and your children start to exhibit any of the expected behaviors, there are ways to help your child cope. Check out the informative guide at HelpGuide for tips on navigating this difficult time.