What you need to know about the effects of divorce on children

Parents must realise that their relationships with their children has limitations. Parents should turn to family, friends and other loved one for help during difficult times, not children. Children must not get involved in the politics of the divorce as this causes immense trauma and suffering, resulting in unusual, aggressive and emotional behaviour.

A lot of the time it is important for the child to see and speak to both parents whenever they feel the need. However, it has been established that younger children often feel that they are being reprimanded when they are moved from one house to the next. This causes a lot of confusion, and misery. Emotional instability is an extremely severe condition that may cause emotional issues well into the child’s adulthood. Due to the emotional stress, children may begin to bully other children at school, or, contrary, isolate themselves from everyone. Parents must do their utmost to address the situation.

Unlike younger children, older children may dislike living arrangements if they are forced to move from one house to the next. The inconsistency often intrudes on their lives and they may feel that it is unnecessary to change their living space all the time. This causes the children to suffer. Joint living arrangements are not ideal when there is a large amount of violence and ill-mannered behaviour between parents.

Often when two parents decide to get divorced, they believe that the children have nothing to do with the divorce and must stay out of the complications. However, no matter how hard the parents try to keep the children oblivious to their changing lifestyle, the children will always be affected by the divorce.

Children suffer the loss of one parent and have to adapt to new household rules. They have to come to terms with and accept the fact that their parents will either have joint custody, or one parent will have full custody. Often, divorce has financial implications and the children are forced to move houses, schools and make new friends. Both parents usually have to work full time to support the entire family and the children feel neglected.

Parents try to protect their children from suffering all the pain that divorce inflicts, however, no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to protect them from the above. Children are left feeling uneasy about what the future holds for them, they sometimes develop depression and often suffer from extreme heartache and confusion. These effects of divorce affect the wellbeing of the child and leave them feeling abandoned, unloved and alone. By Rozanne Johnson

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