What are the immediate and long term effects of divorce on children

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Answered by: Ifhaam, An Expert in the Children and Divorce Category
Divorce; can not be seen as anything less, than a personal tragedy for all those involved. No matter what the reasons behind it maybe, whatever the actions that led to it, it is something that potentially changes the lives completely, for all parties involved. Children; especially have a particularly hard time coming to deal with divorce. Looking at it from a child's perspective, the child's whole life is thrown into a whirlpool and they go through so many stages while trying to come to terms with it. Therefore, it is impertinent that couples considering divorce or going through one, be fully aware of the effects of divorce on children.

First and foremost thing to consider, is the break up of precious family and interpersonal bonds. Majority of divorce cases turn very ugly and the children are inadvertently exposed to a more darker side of their parents relationship. And in most cases the blame game is carried out and intense pressure is put on the child to choose sides. No longer is family, a safe and protective haven for the kids and instead the children retreat and become withdrawn. Constantly being exposed to or even overhearing disagreements and fights between the parents cause immense confusion and grief in children. In fact, some children even grow to believe that somehow it is their fault, that the parents are breaking up and they carry that guilt their whole lives. This is just the beginning of the many negative effects of divorce on children.

The other immediate negative effect that quickly manifests, is changes in children's behavior. The child could start acting out and lashing at people or they can completely withdraw into a shell. Neither of the above extremes are preferable. In most cases the child's academics suffers and there is noticeable differences in how they interact with others in school. Some unfortunately even get bullied more, because of their anti-social tendencies and this leaves a lasting negative effect on the child's life.

Also with divorce, the child would from then on, have to stay with either one of the parents. Finances, become a cause of concern and that becomes an added worry for the children. They may experince severe cut backs and no longer be able to live as well off as before. This might make them self concious and at times even frustrated. Also in a lot of cases, the children too have more responsibility to help around in the house and even be expected to do a part in bringing income to sustain the household. All this culiminates, in children having to deal with a lot of stress and worries, and if that stress is repressed for too long, without any outlet, it takes a toll on their physical health.

But then ultimately the saddest of all is how children lose their innocence and get exposed to the true harshness of life, way earlier than necessary. They are forced to grow up suddenly and deal with things that even adults have trouble coping. They lose faith in love, family and relationships. In the long run they can become cynical and unable to trust people and have trouble developing long term relationships with people. This is because they feel that if their parents marriage did not work, they maybe doomed to end the same way. In short, the immediate and long term effects of divorce in children are devastating and no child deserves such pain and anguish. So all parents need to do a lot of thinking and make their kids a priority during that difficult phase and give them even more love, support and attention than before even.

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