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Divorce and Effects on Children

Updated on October 14, 2013
Tashaonthetown profile image

Natasha Pelati has published three books of poetry and writes on real-life experiences with the help of psychology.

Children of divorce are affected the most.
Children of divorce are affected the most.

Divorce and Children

Divorce is a terrible event to happen to a family and although it is not easy for partners, the children are the ones that are most affected by it.

Children growing up in a happy home with the balance of having two parents to love them, get absolutely shattered by talk of divorce as this takes away their security and could lead them to become unhappy, depressed and in later life, unstable in relationships of their own.

Trust is broken once the news of their parents' divorce is out and for children, the effects of your divorce can take a serious toll on them.

Bad Parenting

Although they do not realise it, parents that argue, scream and shout in the presence of their kids, cause major distress to their children. The name calling and hostility in the home becomes a part of your every day routine and it effects the children badly as it removes the element of security and safety for them.

They are unsure about what it is that you are fighting about and they do not understand why their parents feel hatred towards each other. The fear of loosing one of their parents is a sure way to make them feel insecure.

Parents that argue and fight infront of their children do not realise that firstly; the noise levels and tone of shouting and swearing causes great harm to the children; badmouthing a parent to the children also makes the child confused and they become withdrawn.

Parents who are getting divorced need to understand that children are effected by everything that you do and say and the thought of having their parents living seperately can cause major devastation fot the children.

They do not understand why this is happening and it is selfish for parents to argue and play name games or blame games infront of their children because it is not their fault and parents of divorce tend tp make it feel that way for their children.

Children do not understand why you are fighting
Children do not understand why you are fighting

Children of Divorce

Children need to feel safe and secure and they learn trust through the parents and how they are raised. Once divorce is involved the children begin to feel insecure and unsafe, loosing their trust and becoming angry at the world.

If you have grown up in a happy home, where both of your parents have been there for you al the time, someone to make you breakfast, someone to fetch you from school and both of them to ask you about your day at dinner, then divorce breaks that happiness and the children start to feel confused and insecure.

They do understand that there is arguing and they can feel the hatred but they do not understand why.

Children grow up feeling insecure, they think that they are to blame and they stop trusting anyone, leaving them at a band standing before they can start relationships of their own.

Bitterness between parents and watching of them cry or feel sad, effects the children for the rest of their lives.

Parents of divorce tend to neglect their children in a way whilst they are going through the motions of divorce, and while the parents are having problems of their own, the children are still in need of parenting.

Parents need to talk to their children, together
Parents need to talk to their children, together

Divorce and Telling Your Children

Parents need to let their children understand what it is that is going on, as you might think that they do not know but they do. Instead of leaving them confused and in the dark, parents need to sit down with their children together and explain the situation to them, so that they can understand a few things.

They need to know that you love them unconditionally and that will never change, regardless of the way that you feel about each other.

You need to let them know that it is not their fault that this is happening.

Explain what happens during a divorce and make sure that they know where they will be and who will be taking care of them.

Do not neglect your duties as parent even though your world has been crushed, remember that so has theirs.

Do not bad mouth the other parent or have any hatred towards that person inform of your kids as even though people make mistakes, the will always see both of their parents as the people that they look up to. If you talk badly about one of them, you are setting your children up to feel unsafe and become insecure

Don't expect your children to take sides ass this is not fair to them and they need to be left out of your anger and fighting.

Keep your mouths shut in front of your children and if you feel the need to argue, then do it away from your children, as this has a devastating effect on them.

You do not have to give them the full details of the divorce, but they do need to know that one of you will be leaving and that they will be separated from either of you and that things will be changing.

They need to understand that you both still love them but it will just be from two different homes.

Never bribe your kids or make them choose sides as this is not fair to them.

Abandoning your family, will be something that you regret later.
Abandoning your family, will be something that you regret later.

Parents that Abandon their Families

For many divorces, one parent usually has an affair and runs off, forgetting about the home that they have built together. The people that suffer the most are your children as they do not understand why a parent has just left them suddenly, when they were felt to be your most precious cargo.

This causes devastating effects and children begin to think that you never really loved them to begin with. They feel that you have left because of them and finally have to grow up without your presence, feeling unloved, insecure and damaged by your actions.

Some children start to feel depressed and become reserved and silent, supressing their feelings of anger and confusion, which in later life will affect them in their own relationships.

They will never trust anyone and might always want to leave before a fight is over just because this is what has happened to them in the past.

Your actions will reflect on your children!

Should a parent leave the home abruptly and decide to move on to a new life, which does not include the children, there are a few things that you need to do before you selfishly leave and abandon your children.

Firstly, later on in your own life you will regret not having spent time with your kids and by the time that you realise this, your children would have moved on from you, shut you out and it would probably take time to win them over.

They need your love, no matter where you are going, who you are going with and why you are going. By leaving them you shatter their trust and remove their security which will lead them to a different kind of life.

Before you leave, let them know that it is not their fault and although you will tell them how much you love them, leaving them tells them something very different.

A parent leaving the family to go off into the sunset with someone else, tears up the emotional status of your children...... for life!

They will become cynical, angry and will never trust anyone because of you! Their struggles in life will be because you left them and they will distance themselves from everyone that they meet... because of you!

So before you decide to selfishly leave your family remember that this will affect them in every aspect of their lives and should you one day regret your actions, you will find your children that were once sweet, innocent and happy, to be angry, cold and withdrawn.

The other parent that is left behind needs to be strong and pick up the pieces. Their job now is to take the reigns and lead the family through the dark times.

It is very difficult as this is happening to you to and even more so because the man/ woman that you built a life and a family with, has suddenly left that life in a moment of weakness.

Take time out to cry and come to terms with what has happened.
Take time out to cry and come to terms with what has happened.

The Abandoned Parent

The devastation of having your husband or wife run off and leave you behind with a house full of children can take its toll on you as well as your kids.

You need to take time to get through your pain, anger and confusion. Let your children know that you are hurting and explain to them that you need some space and time to grieve.

Don't take too long to do this because your children need you to be strong and it is your job to rebuild the home and make sure that your children can cope with the changes.

It is very difficult to go through the pain on your own and you will need someone to talk to, so don't be ashamed to ask family and friends to help you through this.

Your children will also be feeling down and confused and the sooner you can get to terms with what has happened, the better for everyone.

Talk to your children and let them know that everything will be alright.

They need to feel safe and secure and it is your job to make them feel this way.

What is the secret to helping children cope with divorce?

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Effects of Divorce on Children

Children get affected by divorce in different ways but most of them will always have an empty space in their hearts.

Some children take divorce very hard and they become depressed and begin to feel as if nothing matters. They don't do well at school, loose interest in everything and become withdrawn.

These children need help and they are better off taling to someone about how they feel as supressing their emotions can be damaging to them in many ways. Many might have suicidal thoughts or will become angry and bitter when they are grown up, leaving them to fail in relationships of their own.

Other children understand what has happened but in every case, children of divorce will have trust issues when they are older and although they can cope with the divorce, better than others, they will have problems in relationships in the future.

Some take the lead and become the responsible adult, growing up before their time. They put the weight of the world on their shoulders and continue to be the adult and missing parent, leaving them to never find happiness and love of their own.

For all children, divorce is not pleasant and it does leave an emptiness, loneliness and heart ache for many a year.

They do not trust, they do not feel safe or secure and being torn apart as a family, is something that leaves scars that will never go away.

Children of divorce, need to understand that it is not their fault, that they will always be loved by both parents and they need someone to help them cope with the loss of a complete, whole and happy family life.

Avoiding them and thinking that they do not know what is going on, is naiive and damaging to them.

Talk to your children, allow them to ask you questions and remember that what you do and say will reflect on their future lives.


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    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      There are a few stages that people go through in a divorce and anger is one of them. This takes time to heal as there are traits in children that will be from one of their parents. The big mistake most people make in divorce is getting their children involved, instead of understanding that they are the ones that hurt the most. Feelings of anger do go away but it takes time.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You have missed the divorced parents who can never move past seeing their ex in their children. They do further damage to their children by telling them that their sole goal in life is to make their children grow up as unlike their spouse as possible. in those cases, the children learn that their parents can stop loving them if they do not comply because they stopped loving their ex. It is an intractable situation in which to put your children. Don't do it...your children will be unable to sustain an intimate relationship in the future...instead always watching over their shoulder, ready to run at a moments notice.

    • Tashaonthetown profile imageAUTHOR

      Natasha Pelati 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you for reading! It is a very sad event for children and the trauma of parents getting divorced is usually never taken into account until the partners are over the fighting and anger, and by then it is often too late.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Divorce is unfortunate and especially for kids, it has very negative effects. You have made some important points here, which must be looked into and thought about by the partners, who are taking the decision to take divorce.

      A well written thoughtful and engaging hub on a critical issue! Thanks for sharing!


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