How Young Children Are Affected by Separated Parents


There are many ways in which a child can be affected, regardless of their age, when parents are separated.  Many times it is assumed that young children will not have as many issues because they are not old enough to remember happy times or even remember their parents together at all.  The fact remains that children, regardless of their age, are going to be affected during the time when their parents are separated.  Routines are changed and the overall living arrangements of the child are going to be different so you have to consider each thing that effects your child as you are separated. It important to learn how to help children and teens cope with divorce.

Busting the Biggest Divorce Myth

One of the biggest myths concerning children and divorce is that when parents are unhappy, children are unhappy.  This myth perpetuated the idea that it was in the child’s best interest to get a divorce if the two parents were not getting along.  There has since been a ton of research that actually proves that regardless of the situation, the children suffer in a divorce.

Why Young Children Suffer

There are many reasons for which children end up suffering during a divorce.  Children suffer a loss of the relationship with both parents and a loss in security, especially when they are younger.  It is hard for a child to grasp and understand why they can’t be with both of their parents at the same time.  Even if the parents were fighting all of the time, there was still security with the child knowing that they were both present in their lives.  When parents separate, children can worry about when they will see the other parent.

Another thing that happens with children is that in addition to worry there is fear.  If one parent has obviously “left” the other parent, then the child might worry that they will leave them too.  Not all divorces end with the children worrying or being afraid, but it is far more likely for children who are in a divorce situation then for those who have both parents in the home.

Ways Young Children Suffer

There are so many ways that young children suffer when their parents are separated that parents might not think about. Understanding these can help parents to be able to make sure that their children do not suffer any more than they have to.

Issues at School

Children who are from homes where parents are separated often suffer in school.  Not only do they suffer with academics, but they are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues.  Statistically, they are even less likely to graduate.  Make sure that you are diligent in your efforts to communicate with the school and teachers so that you can ensure that your child has the most successful academic future possible.

Juvenile Crime

Sadly, children who have parents who are not together are more likely to be in trouble legally.  Not only are they more likely to get into trouble, but they are also more likely to be incarcerated in juvenile detention centers.  So, make sure that you are focusing on your child when you are home with them and that your child has the appropriate supervision for their age.


It is five times more likely for children of separated parents to be living in poverty, than for children who have two parents that are together.  There are many legitimate reason for this.  In most cases before the separation, the two parents had the same income and were living in and running one household.  Then when they became separated their income did not increase but they were forced to run two households.  This means double the expenses on the same amount of money.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

 Children who are from divorced homes are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.  They are also more likely to be addicted.  It is important for parents to be close to their children and to know the warning signs.  Many parents do not worry about their young children partaking in these activities but with the parents being divorced, it is common for younger children to partake in these activities.

While children are capable of being raised without these issues when their parents are separated, there are things that the parents need to do in order to make that happen.  One of the most important things is for the two parents to have clear communication and to be willing to both compromise to make sure that their children have the best possible life.  The more fighting and negativity that is around your children, the more of these issues they are going to have. There are companies such as National Family Solutions that can help facilitate the process of divorce and reduce the cost associated with the legal proceedings.

Image: Pixabay

from Parenting Tips and Advice at Uplifting Families


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