Child’s eye View of Parental Divorce
Author: James Walsh
In their early life, children are completely dependent on their parents and in most of the cases they share a deep emotional bonding with them. The separation of their parents would mean that they would miss the company of one of their parents which they have been enjoying over the years. This leads to the development of a feeling of insecurity in them about their future as a whole.
In many cases, parental divorces are not calm procedures and may involve squabbles and heated exchanges. In such situations, children usually tend to blame themselves for the current situation that he or she gets to see around.
A divorce usually means the failure of an institution called marriage and subsequently a relationship that was meant for life. When a child witnesses such breaks in relationship, he usually tends to lose credibility in human relationships and the society as a whole.
Due to divorce, children may be expected to move to a different environment from the one in which they have been living so far. For them, this could mean losing some of their best friends.
As often, the children are not consulted during the divorce of their parents; children tend to start feeling less important as an individual. They start becoming silent spectators and a passive witness to the whole drama called divorce.
Effects of Parental Divorce on Children
Divorce of parents can affect the emotional stability and development of a child. The effect of divorce may be varied depending on the child’s age, gender, extent of maturity, the type of support he has received so far etc. Usually, girls can handle parent divorce better than boys. Let us have a look at some of the effects of divorce on children:
One of the common effects of parental divorce on children is that they begin to believe that they are responsible for the divorce of their parents. This affects them emotionally to a great extent and if, they do not receive timely support, their emotional development may be stunted.
Divorce means separation of the child from either one or both of his parents. This may lead to a feeling of alienation in the child and may also cause the child to become socially inactive. Thus, the child may not feel inclined to mix with other children and may become introverted.
Also, the child may be afraid to voice his opinions to his parents as he believes that he was responsible for the divorce.
Many times, the children are not consulted when their parents are getting divorced. This may add to the child’s feeling of alienation.
It has been observed that individuals whose parents have divorced in their childhood tend to be more violent and have a tendency to be rebellious in nature. This is not necessarily true for all children who have faced parental divorce but has been observed in many of the cases.
Individuals who have faced parental divorce in their childhood have greater likelihood of drug abuse, alcoholism etc.
They may also have a tendency of taking impulsive decisions later in their life and being impatient in nature.
The concept of divorce is too big an idea for children to digest. This may have a negative impact on their academics
As the children tend to turn more independent during and after parental divorce due to lack of trust in others, it is likely that they will not enter successful marital or platonic relationships later in their lives.
Some of the children may fall prey to psychological disorders and may show poor physical health as well.
What can be done to Avoid Problems Faced by Children during Parental Divorce?
It has been studied over time that divorce leads to child delinquency if not handled properly. Parents should try and give enough support to the child during and after divorce. It proves to be helpful if the child stays in contact with both his parents even after the divorce. The parents should also avoid arguing and abusing each other in front of the child.
The effects of divorce on the child will be reduced if the child continues to live in a supportive environment even after the divorce.