A divorce is a watershed moment for a family, and it is especially so for the children. While some believe that it is better to divorce and remove children from a tense household, professionals state that there are still negative consequences of children who experience this breakup. And mot professionals also agree that the impacts are different for young children and teens.

For Children

­A child’s social life is primarily focused on his/her family, and a divorce creates feeling of insecurity and anxiety. Here are just of the documented impacts.

    • Young children are highly dependent upon their parents. When their parents divorce, they must adjust to shuttling back and forth between two households and to the absence of one parent when they are with the other. They may develop anxieties that perhaps their parents could “divorce” them too and worry about who will take care of them.
    • Young children may exhibit regressive behaviors, such as tantrums, bed-wetting, refusing to sleep alone, separation anxiety, etc. All of these are a result of worry and feelings of insecurity and a need to make parents care for them more.
    • Young children have a difficult time accepting the permanence of their parents’ divorces. They fantasize that they will reunite and re-establish the familiar and secure family unit again. When parents jointly attend events, such as school activities and programs, the child is encouraged that this reunification may take place.
    • Children of divorce may develop behavioral issues both at home and at school, and these must be addressed with compassion and empathy.

For Adolescents

The adolescent social life has begun to move away from the family, so a divorce will not result in feelings of insecurity and worry. In general, adolescents will seize upon the opportunity to grow even more independent of his/her parents. But, make no mistake, divorce does impact these kids too.

While the adolescent can more easily accept the permanence of divorce, the emotional impact is still present and will often manifest itself in the following ways:

    • There is an anger that their parents broke their commitment of marriage, and so, rather than wishing that they would re-unite, adolescents devise ways to get back at them. This can manifest in open defiance, rebellion, and breaking household “rules.”
    • They may become “distant,” not wanting to discuss their days at school, their social problems, their successes or their failures. They will shut out their parents to punish them.
    • They may see the divorce as an opportunity to “be on their own” more – to be absent from both homes more, and, perhaps, engage in some pretty risky behaviors. Teenage girls may become promiscuous; boys may abuse alcohol or be reckless in their driving.

For Adult Children of Divorce

Experiencing the divorce of their own parents, it is not uncommon for adult children to view divorce as the solution to their own marital problems. Other studies show that, among this group, the following is more prevalent:

    • Abuse of alcohol or drugs as adults

Divorce is a huge life event for parents. They should make every effort, then, to understand that it is a life-changing event for their children as well and seek professional guidance.

Author Dianna Labriean www.evoessay.com proffesional writer.