The Impact of Divorce on Children

The Impact of Divorce on Children

The impact of divorce on children introduces a massive change into the life of a boy or girl no matter what the age. Witnessing loss of love between parents, having parents break their marriage  commitment, adjusting to going back and forth between two different households, and the daily absence of one parent while living with the other, all create a challenging new family circumstance in which to live. In the personal history of the boy or girl, parental divorce is a watershed event. Life that follows is significantly changed from how life was before.

For the young child, divorce shakes trust in dependency on parents who now behave in an extremely undependable way. They surgically divide the family unit into two different households between which the child must learn to transit back and forth, for a while creating unfamiliarity, instability, and insecurity, never being able to be with one parent without having to be apart from the other.

The dependent child’s short-term reaction to divorce can be an anxious one. So much is different, new, unpredictable, and unknown that life becomes filled with scary questions? “What is going to happen to next?” “Who will take care of me?” “If my parents can lose for each other, can they lose love for me?” “With one parent moving out, what if I lose the other too?” Answering such worry questions with worst fears, the child’s response can be regressive.

10 Factors that determine how your children are likely to be affected by your separation and divorce

1.     The child’s age – that will to a great extent dictate what they’re able to understand

2.     Their ability to cope with change in general

3.     The nature of the divorce – is it a long, acrimonious, legal battle with lots of nasty consequences for all the parties, including your children?

4.     The way in which you as parents communicate with each other

5.     The way your children normally handle any changes

6.     The extent to which each of you make it okay for your children to love and be with the other parent

7.     What the children pick up from overhearing conversations and how they interpret it

8.     How friends and family talk about your separation or divorce

9.     What other pressures they are already under

10. How much loving support and understanding they get from you and other important people around them.

Children of a pending divorce can have many different reactions, thoughts and fears.  We are able to work with your children, as well as the parents, to help deal with all of this turmoil. 

Please contact us to set up an appointment or learn more about getting your child the help he/she needs during the divorce. 303-353-9226 or