Negative Effects of Divorce on Children: Do They Really Last?

Psychological & Social Effects of Divorce over the Long Term

How can a divorce possibly have a positive effect on a child? Most would agree that when a spouse is unfaithful or abusive, then divorce is a real option. But this type of relationship is about taking – not giving, disrespect and mental / physical abuse. In effect, it is not a marriage at all. So, staying together “for the sake of the kids” will actually cause more harm than good.

Children need loving parents, a home to return to, friends, activities and routine. Factors such as these, together, represent a child’s sense of security. Divorce breaches this emotional security, as the child will digress to rebellion, escapism, guilt, violence, withdrawal, depression, stress and/or denial.

Long Term Effects as a Consequence

A child of divorce is at a loss from the onset. After a divorce, poverty often sets in, visitation is forced upon the child, and a sense of shame can be felt around friends with intact families.

Nonetheless, it is the aftermath of divorce when the most harm is done. These children begin to falter in their studies, turn aggressive towards authorities and cause friction among their peers. Tragic effects from the divorce may even stay dormant for a period of time, only to be triggered by an event in the future. In other words, the negative consequence of divorce may not even be evident until adulthood.

Effects on Others and Society

The numbers are grim. In America, alone, over a million children each year experience the divorce of their parents. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s 1995 Survey of Consumer Finance, only 42 percent of children aged 14 to 18 live in a “first marriage”, intact, two parent family. But the family unit is the foundation of a healthy society. These statistics, then, indicate a trend away from one of society’s basic tenets. As a result, we can expect more young adults to shun marital commitment in favor of cohabitation or single parenthood.

Countering the Effects of Divorce from the Onset

Whatever the reason for your divorce, it’s important to take action as early as possible to avoid or minimize any long term effects of divorce on your child.

Age appropriate child therapy will give your child an easier outlet to vent his anger or sadness in a constructive fashion. Take note of any extreme swings in moods and consult your doctor if you notice any psychosomatic symptoms – namely, migraines or tummy aches resulting from internalizing their pains of divorce.

However, the best way to ward off any long term and lasting effects is to strengthen your bonding with your child. Earthquake in Zipland is an interactive child support game that enables divorcing parents to sensitively deal with the long term effects of divorce on children. Play therapy video games rebuild communication between a child and his/her divorced parents.