Effects of Divorce on Children Essay Example for Free

Awareness and sensitivity to the developmental differences in children's reaction to divorce can provide parents with insight in how to talk to their children to help in their adjustment.

Because of their limited cognitive abilities, preschoolers are often baffled by their parents divorce.

In this essay we will cover one of the main causes of divorce and one of the main effects....

First of all, divorce is almost always stressful for children. Most children do not want their parents to separate (unless the marriage was full of intense conflict and anger or other sources of misery not suitable for children). Divorce also can strain parent-child relationships, lead to lost contact with one parent, create economic hardships, and increase conflict between parents (including legal conflicts — for a way to avoid these see ). For all these reasons, most children have a hard time during the divorce transition. How long the transition lasts depends upon on how calm or how chaotic you and your ex make it. Parents who do a good job managing the stresses of divorce for children often are surprised by how quickly their kids make the adjustment.


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Children in a high- conflict marriage situation generally are better off if their parents decide to divorce compared to children whose parents stay married and continue to experience high levels of conflict.


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Some things that you can do to enhance a child's adjustment are the following

(1) Prior to the separation, it may be helpful for both parents to discuss the impending divorce at a level appropriate for the child;

(2) Be available to answer questions;

(3) Read age appropriate books on divorce with your child;

(4) Reassure the child divorce is not his or her fault;

(5) Let the child know that you will both continue to love him;

(6) Put child's needs first;

(7) Do not argue with other parent in front of child;

(8) Do not expect your child to meet your emotional needs;

(9) Be consistent in your parenting;

(10) Make visitations regular and predictable;

(11) Let the child know that you will tell other important people in case he or she would like to seek support from these people

(12) Do not be openly critical of other parent;

(13) Do not interrogate child about visits with other parent, and most importantly be sensitive to your child's emotional needs.

For further reading, please refer to:

Divorce: Helping your Child Adjust, C.

90 Really Good Ideas for Cause and Effect Essay Topics



In summary, in thinking about the effects of divorce on children it is important to consider factors that facilitate the child's adjustment or makes them vulnerable to the negative effects of divorce.

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The Second World War brought about another period of great social change, and a start to the modern era of life as we know it now. Marriages broke down under the strain of war, or its after-effects, in numbers never before experienced and at all levels of society. The church and the government became increasingly concerned that the divorce laws were no longer fit for purpose – unhappy couples would arrange for one spouse to book into a hotel at the seaside for a weekend to commit the adultery necessary for them to divorce. A Royal Commission in the 1950s could not decide the best way forward, and in the mid-1960’s the Archbishop of Canterbury took up the baton. His office prepared a report demanding reform of the law to ensure that people could obtain a divorce if they could show the breakdown of their marriage, and the government set the Law Commission to research the most appropriate way to modernise the divorce laws. This process gestated the Divorce Reform Act 1969, which although now consolidated in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 still contains the divorce law we are subject to today.