How Divorce Affects Children

Divorce affects children’s social development. Children going through a divorce often isolate themselves to avoid conversations. They feel embarrassed and ashamed that their parents could not stay together while their peer’s parents are happy together. The affected children have fewer social contacts at school to help hide the split happening at home. Once parents are divorced, some children may isolate themselves because they do not want a situation requiring them to disclose that their parents are divorced.

Furthermore, school transfers and relocations associated with divorce impact children’s social lives by separating them from close friends and familiar surroundings. When children relocate to a new environment, it might take time to make new friends. They experience loneliness and try to avoid classmates to prevent explaining why they moved into the new school.

Divorce hurts children’s behavior. Separation dictates living with one parent at a time, and in some cases, both parents are absent. The absence of a father or a mother eliminates parental guidance, increasing the likelihood of indulging in immoral and unlawful activities. Lack of maternal direction in a girl’s life contributes to early pregnancies, early marriages, and prostitution. On the other hand, missing parental guidance in a young man’s life leads to delinquency. Divorces cuts or minimizes parental advice, financial assistance, and moral support to a child.

Moreover, divorce causes children to use drugs because they are socially isolated and lack healthy resources to prevent them from abusing drugs. Children whose parents are divorced are likely to participate in destructive behaviors, including unsafe sex, unlawful activities, and physical fights. Studies show that girls with an absent father tend to engage in sexual intercourse in their early teenage years. Likewise, boys with absent fathers tend to join criminal groups, especially when gang members are the father figures. Involvement in illegal activities causes minors to end up in prison and live the rest of their lives with a criminal record.

Divorce contributes to depression, anger, embarrassment, and frustration in children. A child may feel embarrassed by a father who divorces their mother but marries another woman immediately. Such a child compares their family situation to other stable and happy families, causing them to be angry and frustrated. The embarrassment and depression are severe when the parents’ new lovers live in the same community.

Lastly, divorce undermines children’s academic performance. Children going through a divorce are likely to record lower grades due to the distraction caused by the split happening back home. A divorce may necessitate relocating to another city and changing schools. Such drastic changes distract children from studies, rendering them unable to focus on schoolwork and exams. The thoughts of living without both parents undermine children’s concentration in the classroom. Young children view their parents as supernatural beings, and divorce leaves them shattered and hopeless to pursue any goals; they do not care about grades because their parent’s divorce is like an end to their world. Studies show that separation and divorce are associated with poor academic performances and school dropout.