Ads 468x60px

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Effects of Divorce on Children.

Ulishawahi fikiria madhara wayapatayo watoto pale wazazi wanapotengana? well,if not join me may be you will learn something.
Most divorcing parents are very concerned about their children’s
reactions to their separation and divorce. They want to know, “Will
my child grow up to be healthy and happy?”

Sociologists and psychologists are just beginning to provide reliable
information about the effects of divorce on children. There are a
number of important factors.
Research shows that the effects depend on the age of the child at the time of divorce.
It can also depend on the child’s gender and personality, the amount of conflict between parents and the support provided by friends and family.

We know little about the effects of divorce on children younger than two or three years of age.

Young children do not always suffer if a divorce occurs. However, problems may occur if a close relationship or bond between a parent and child is broken.
Parents should agree on parenting and childcarearrangements so the child does not grow up experiencing conflict between his or her parents.

Infants may not understand conflict, but may react to changes in parent’s energy level and mood. Infants may
loose their appetite or have an upset stomach and spit up more.

Children from three to five years of age frequently believe they have caused their parents’ divorce. For example,they might think that if they had eaten their dinner or done their chores when told to do so, Daddy wouldn’t have gone away.

Preschoolers may fear being left alone or abandoned altogether. They may show baby-like behavior, such as wanting their security blanket or old toys, or they begin wetting the bed. They may deny that
anything has changed, or they may become uncooperative, depressed, or angry. Although they want the security
of being near an adult, they may act disobedient and aggressive.

Some psychologists believe the adjustment to parental divorce is more difficult for elementary school children than for younger or older children. School-age children are old enough to understand that they are in pain because of their parents’ separation. They are too young, however, to understand or to control their reactions to this pain.

They may experience grief, embarrassment, resentment, divided loyalty and intense anger. Their ability to become actively involved in play and activities with other children may help them cope with their family life situation.

The Effects of Divorce on Children:
Children this age may hope parents will get back together. Elementary
aged children may feel rejected by the parent who left. They may complain
of headaches or stomachaches.

Teens also experience anger, fear, loneliness, depression and guilt.
Some feel pushed into adulthood if they must take responsibility for
many new chores or care of siblings. Teens may respond to parents’
low energy level and high stress level by trying to take control over
the family. Others feel a loss of parental support in handling emerging
sexual feelings. Teens also may doubt their own ability to get married or to stay married.
Teens may understand the causes leading to their parents’ separation. Their ability to remember the conflict and stress of the divorce may interfere with their ability to cope with the changes in their family.
They may also feel pressure to “choose” one of their parents over the other, or to fault one parent over the other for the “cause” of the divorce.

Researchers are now finding that boys raised by fathers and girls raised by mothers may do better than children raised by the parent of the opposite sex. School age boys living with their fathers or in joint living arrangements seem to be less aggressive. They also have fewer emotional problems than those boys who live with their mothers and have little or no contact with their fathers.
Girls raised with mothers tend to be more responsible and mature than girls raised by their fathers.
However, the children’s adjustment following a divorce has more to do with the quality of the parent-child relationship than with the gender and age of the child.


Ashley said...

While I agree with most of what you said, some of these assertions seem to be a little off base, particularly parenting of children by the opposite sex. I agree with what you said about boys needing fathers, and think that as long as the fathers are positive and loving models, than they will do better than with just a mother. However, I strongly believe that girls need a paternal presence as well, as without that, they tend to feel a lack of safety, increased responsibility (as you wrote), and may possibly seek out the attention they crave from their fathers among their peers (boys) instead. This may result in sexual activity at a younger age (before they are ready/mature enough to handle it). Children of both genders end up with problems without a father. I'm not saying the mother isn't important for either, but it seems that mothers have a greater role when the child is younger, and the father has a greater role as the children grow older. Both parents are still needed (or some kind of gender model figure), but their roles are different and affect children in various ways.

I appreciate the article though, as I too am passionate about this subject and know first-hand the kind of lasting effects divorce has on children. I actually wrote about it recently, if you feel like comparing notes. Thanks for addressing this important subject.

EDNA said...

Thanks Ashley for passing by, and contributing something on this serious matter.Iam not a victim of this but i have relatives and close friends who are victims of divorce, they have been telling me how hard it was to be raised with one Parent and how this situation affected their life...some of them they do not even want to have kids simply because they do not want their children to experience what they have gone through.