Divorce commonly leads to broken lives and social and emotional problems in children. Although infants and very young children may experience very few or no negative developmental effects after their parents get divorced, older children (especially adolescents and teenagers) are likely to experience emotional, social, and educational problems. In some cases, professional help may be needed to help children from broken families to cope.
It is common for children preschool age and older to experience emotional problems after a divorce. These may include anxiety, depression, and feelings of distrust. In some cases, older children may outwardly show very few emotions related to their parents’ divorce and may become withdrawn emotionally. These children respond to the pain of a broken family by bottling up and suppressing their feelings, which can be very unhealthy emotionally
Some children from broken families have trouble trusting and interacting naturally with their peers. They may have an especially difficult time trusting romantic partners and may start to engage in aggressive behavior. Many teens from broken families develop a cynical outlook on life and have trouble seeking positive social interactions. They may also lose trust in one or both parents and harbor feelings of resentment towards them.
Preoccupation with feelings of betrayal, abandonment, anxiety, and other divorce-related emotions can cause children to experience slower academic development. In addition to emotional factors, lifestyle changes, strained financial resources, and inconsistent routines can make it more challenging for kids from broken homes to keep up with their peers academically. This can cause children who are already struggling emotionally to feel bad about themselves as they fall behind in their studies.
Thankfully, there are tools available to help children from broken families cope with the effects of divorce. A good child custody lawyer can help ensure that financial needs are adequately met by enforcing child support laws. Family conflict therapists offer counseling services to help children heal emotionally from the effects of divorce. There are even scholarship programs designed to help children of single parents get quality education.