The Possible Negative Impact of Divorce on Children

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By Linda Jacobs, Featured Columnist - October 16, 2013

To a child, the divorce of their parents can be likened to a tsunami that strikes their lives and leaves destruction and havoc in its wake. Nothing is ever the same again. The divorce will affect the child for many years to come.

Divorce impacts future generations within the family

  • In some families divorce is cyclical.
  • Children lose access to grandparents and extended family.
  • Family traditions are lost.
  • Generational family stories are not passed on to children.

Divorce affects personal relationships

  • Relationships with each parent is affected because the parents are no longer one unit caring for and concerned about the child.
  • Girls in single parent homes are more likely to get pregnant as teens.
  • Kids may struggle with normal peer relationships.
  • Divorce can negatively impact relationships with extended family members.

Divorce affects a child’s schoolwork

  • Many will have to repeat a grade.
  • Some will drop out of school as teens because they are so far behind their peers in their learning ability.

Divorce affects their health

  • Many will be ill simply because of the chaotic lives they are forced to lead.
  • Some become ill because high levels of stress compromise their immune system.

sad child divorce.jpgThe impact can last for years, or a lifetime

Children of divorce are more likely to pull away from church as teens and adults.

Many children turn to substance abuse and yes even elementary age children turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

Many more teens of divorce succeed in suicidal attempts than the general population. Suicide and suicidal attempts are occurring in younger and younger children.

The landscape of a child’s life that is left after divorce is forever changed. Today we’ve only presented a short list. Stay tuned for more.

In the next few weeks we will be bringing how divorce affects children at different ages. We’ll start with infants, toddlers and preschoolers and move up the chronological age ladder.

Most importantly, we will also be sharing vital information with you on ways you and your church can counter the impact of divorce on children. These children do not have to become a lost generation. Through this blog, we will provide you with effective and proven strategies to help rebuild these precious young lives.

"Originally posted by Linda Ranson Jacobs on the Kids & Divorce blog at,  Copyright © 2013, DivorceCare for Kids. Used by permission."

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