6 Ways Divorce Affects A Child And Tips To Help

No one gets married expecting to get divorced, but unfortunately, it happens. And when it does, it doesn’t just impact the couple going through it – it can have a lasting effect on their children as well. If you’re currently going through a divorce or are about to, it’s important to be aware of the ways it might affect your child. Keep reading to learn five of them and some tips on how to help your child through this tough time.

1. Short-Term Effects of Divorce on Children

two children sitting on ground with dried leaves
Photo by Marcus Wallis

Divorce is a difficult and stressful time for everyone involved, especially children. While the effects of divorce on children can vary depending on the child’s age, gender, and personality, there are some common short-term effects that parents should be aware of.

Children of all ages may feel confused, insecure, and abandoned when their parent’s divorce. They may also feel guilty, thinking that they could have somehow prevented the divorce. These feelings are normal and usually lessen over time as the child adjusts to the new family situation.

Younger children may regress in their behavior, wetting the bed or acting out in school, for example. Older children may withdraw from friends and activities or start acting out themselves. These behaviors are usually a way for kids to express their feelings and should improve with time and support.

Parents can help their children through this tough time by being open and honest about what is happening, maintaining a positive relationship with their co-parent (if possible), and providing stability and consistent routines at home.

2. Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children

Though the effects of divorce on children vary depending on the child’s age and gender, there are some common long-term effects that can be seen in many children of divorced parents. These effects include academic problems, increased risk-taking behaviors, and emotional difficulties.

Academic problems are one of the most commonly reported long-term effects of divorce on children. Studies have shown that children of divorced parents are more likely to have lower grades and test scores and are more likely to repeat a grade than children of intact families. They are also more likely to drop out of school altogether.

Increased risk-taking behaviors are another common long-term effect of divorce on children. Children of divorced parents are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking, drug use, smoking, promiscuity, and crime. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including feelings of abandonment or rejection, low self-esteem, poor impulse control, and a general sense of instability in their lives.

Emotional difficulties are also common among children of divorced parents. These difficulties can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including anxiety, depression, anger, isolation, and difficulty forming attachments. Children of divorced parents may also have trouble trusting people or may become overly dependent on others.

3. Tips for Helping Children Adjust to Divorce

mom huging sad boy
Photo by Unsplash

– Children need time to grieve the loss of their family unit.

– Help them understand that it is not their fault and that they are loved by both parents.

– Encourage communication between the children and both parents.

– Keep routines as consistent as possible and help create a new routine if needed.

– Be supportive and understanding of your child’s feelings.

– The Importance Of Communication With Your Child About Divorce

It is essential that you communicate with your child about divorce. You should avoid using negative language when discussing the topic with your child. It is also important, to be honest with your child about the situation. Explain to your child that the divorce is not their fault and that you will still love them no matter what happens.

If possible, try to have a joint discussion with your spouse about how you will tell your child about the divorce. This can help ensure that both of you are on the same page and can provide support to each other during this difficult time.

Try to keep things as normal as possible for your child during this time of transition. Maintain regular routines and activities as much as possible. This can help provide a sense of stability for your child during a time of upheaval.

Seek professional help if you feel like you are struggling to communicate with your child about the divorce. A therapist or counselor can assist you in talking through the situation and helping your child cope with the changes.

5. Maintaining A Positive Relationship With Your Ex-Spouse

It is crucial to maintain a positive relationship with your ex-spouse, especially if you have children together. Although it can be difficult, try to put your differences aside for the sake of your child’s wellbeing. Here are some tips to help:

– Communicate openly and honestly with each other without anger or resentment.

– Respect each other’s time and space – don’t overstep boundaries or invade privacy.

– Keep communication channels open so that you can discuss important matters relating to your child’s welfare.

– Try to work together on parenting decisions so that you can provide a united front for your child.

– Seek professional help if necessary, in order to resolve any lingering issues between you.

6. Planning For Your Child’s Future After Divorce

man in white shirt carrying boy
Photo by Kelli McClintock

Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage. It can be an emotionally tough time for both parents and children. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to think about your child’s future and how the divorce will affect them.

Here are some tips to help you plan for your child’s future after divorce:

1. Think about what your child needs. Your child will need financial support, emotional support, and stability after the divorce. Make sure you have a plan in place to provide these things for your child.

2. Talk to your child about the divorce. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your child during this time. Let them know what’s happening and answer any questions they have honestly.

3. Consider therapy for your child. Therapy can help kids deal with the emotions they’re feeling during and after a divorce. If you think therapy might be helpful for your child, talk to their doctor or a therapist about it.

4. Make sure your child has a strong support system. This can include family members, friends, teachers, or counselors. These people can offer your child a listening ear and emotional support during this difficult time.

5. Keep involved in your child’s life. Even though you’re not together as a family anymore, it’s still important to be involved in your child’s life as much as possible. Attend their school events, spend time with them on weekends, and


No one wants to think about the effects of divorce on children, but it’s important to be mindful of the potential impacts. Although it may be difficult, there are ways to help your child through this tough time. With patience, love, and understanding, you can help your child adjust to the changes brought on by divorce and come out stronger for it.

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