Parents in separation and divorce are very concerned about the effects of divorce on children. They wonder whether their decision will affect the happiness and health of their child. Reliable information about the effects on children is still being gathered and analyzed by sociologists and psychologists.
Children who witness a divorce could be disturbed by the thought of not seeing their parents together again. Following are some of the immediate short-term effects of divorce on children:
- Anxiety: The aftermath of a divorce causes the child to become tense, nervous, and anxious. Young children are more prone to it than the older ones since they are heavily dependent on both the parents. An anxious child will find it difficult to concentrate on his studies and may lose interest in activities that he once found enticing.
- Constant stress: According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, many children falsely consider themselves the reason behind their parents’ divorce and assume the responsibility to mend the relationship. This can lead to immense stress and pressure on the young mind, which can have several repercussions like negative thoughts and nightmares.
- Mood swings and irritability: Young children may suffer from mood swings and become irritable even when interacting with familiar people. Some children will go into a withdrawal mode, where they stop talking to anyone and shut themselves away. The child will become quiet and prefer spending time alone.
- Intense sadness: Acute sadness rushes through the heart and mind of the child. Nothing feels good in life, and the child may eventually plunge into depression, which is a long-term manifestation of this sadness.
- Disillusion and distress: Children of divorce may feel hopeless and disillusioned because they do not have the comprehensive emotional support from their parents. This situation can become worse if the child is looked after by a single parent with no access to the other parent.