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How does divorce affect young children?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Family Law

During a divorce, the entire family struggles with the dissolution of the marriage and altered family structure. Young kids, however, may require extra support.

As your kids grapple with their new reality, there are some common ways you can expect it to affect them.

Anxiety and emotional problems

Most kids experience emotional turmoil as a result of a divorce. However, the conflict in your family before the divorce may change how quickly your children can bounce back. Children who witnessed conflict within their family before the divorce may have more difficulty adjusting to life post-divorce. However, even in amicable circumstances, kids may still have feelings of anxiety, fear and confusion about the divorce.

Strained relationships between children and parents

Expect your children to react negatively to the news of the divorce. Children may become angry at one or both of their parents while also responding to the emotional tension within the family. As young kids adjust to shared custody, they may find it challenging to communicate with their parents. Parents can help by maintaining open lines of communication and providing space for their children to discuss their emotions openly without judgment.

Academic implications

You may witness a change in your child’s social and academic life. Children may find it more difficult to concentrate at school and start pulling away from their peer relationships. Kids who enjoyed school in the past may not want to attend or you may see a severe drop in their academic performance. A supportive environment that recognizes academic challenges as usual following a divorce can help children overcome the obstacles.

Children are remarkably resilient. As long as the parents can provide a nurturing and stable environment marked by open communication and age-appropriate conversations, they can help their children to adapt and overcome challenges.