When parents begin a divorce, it is often a difficult and stressful period for everyone involved, but more than anything it can be a very traumatic experience on children. There is short term and long term effects of divorce that must be acknowledged. Without combating these effects, your child could be seriously impacted upon. Listed below are the many short term and long term affects you need to be on the lookout for.
The potentially alarming short term effects:
When a child is at a young age and cannot successfully grasp the reality of the situation and the different factors at play between you and your partner, they can then begin to feel guilty or responsible for the divorce themselves. At times like this, before even initiating the divorce, it is crucial to reassure and explain to your children the meaning behind the divorce in simple terms to alleviate them of possible guilty.
During a divorce, it is not uncommon for children to begin rapidly changing their attitudes and behaviour. In some cases, children will become incredibly aggressive, acting out against all parts of their life. They may become violent towards family, lashing out towards teachers, and even friends. Conversely, your child might become extremely passive and emotionally disinclined through depressive behaviour. At times like this, they may become emotionally attached, desperately requiring attention due to the fear of being abandoned. When a divorce takes place, you must take care in ensuring that your children are properly cared for during this time.
It is common for these emotional changes, especially strong emotions such as grief to begin affecting their ability at school and work, whether it be their academic or co-curricular performance, they may no longer be as motivated or interested anymore. These emotions can even cause trauma, leading to re-occurring fears such as bedwetting.
The potentially dangerous long term effects:
Although the short term effects will slowly but surely go away, new long term effects may occur which will continue to affect and hurt your children into the future without being properly cared for. Children of divorce may begin to exhibit strong anti-social behavior, alongside other metal issues. This may lead to a decreased long term academic performance, drug and alcohol addictions. If a family is not as well off, you will find that the child also experiences a smaller income than they were used to. In many cases, the trauma will lead to these children treating their future spouses in similar ways, getting married at younger ages and experiencing divorce too.