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- On March 14, 2018
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Common questions for people who are contemplating separation are “what are the statistics regarding children in divorce?” and “how does divorce affect children?”
Incidence of Divorce
Divorce is the case of 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States, meaning there is a high percentage of divorced parents. While this percentage seems high, it no longer appears to be increasing as it once was. Divorce is a commonplace occurrence in our society. However, many people live happy lives even though they experienced a divorce while growing up.
How does divorce affect children physically
Divorce and the conflict that comes with it can take a physical toll on a child’s health. Increased stress and anxiety can have physical manifestations and lead to worsening of conditions like asthma, as well as weakening the immune system.
How does divorce affect children emotionally
The primary effect of divorce on children is the separation of the childhood home into two households and the new reality of bouncing between the two. The emotional effects on children can be substantial, as the traditional family structure is disrupted. Some studies on divorce and how it affects children report that children are three times more likely to seek psychological help if they come from a broken home compared to an intact nuclear family. It is important to realize that even without separation and divorce, the deterioration of a relationship can lead to emotional effects from exposure to constant fighting and tension in the home.
How does divorce affect a child’s education?
A major practical consideration of children and divorce is its effect on education. If both parents are not living in the same vicinity, the question can arise of where the child goes to school, possibly in a different part of the country. Even if staying in the same area, a change of local school district may result which can be disruptive to the child. Of course, children change schools for entirely different reasons, as is often the case for children in military families. Changing schools is not unique to divorce, and is something many children learn to cope with.
Tips for Parents
Divorce is a confusing time for children, and you are not going to be able to prevent them from feeling bad about it. Remind yourself that children are very resilient and that they will get through this, which you can help them do by:
- Being honest with them about what is happening
- Letting them express their feelings
- Staying healthy and positive both for yourself and for them
- Resisting the temptation to play the blame game in their presence
Featured image: VGStockstudio/Shutterstock