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The Effect of Divorce on Children

By Dr. Juliet Dinkha

The Effect of Divorce on Children


Divorce is a stressful event where one of the spouses end the marriage or dissolve it. Divorce has a great emotional impact on kids as they will feel scared, confused, frustrated and guilty.  Children from divorced parents have high level of depression, anxiety, stress and overall trust issues.  Some may feel that t the divorce has occurred because of them, other kids will worry about their parents safety and worry that this may cause a great change in their lives .  Some kids will also express anger and disappointment toward their parents for ending the marriage.  The decision to separate causes anxiety because kids worry about changing the school, moving to a different house, and have live with one parent.  Change is difficulty especially for kids.


There are several solutions which can make divorce easier for both parents and their children. First of all, the decision to separate should be discussed with the kids so that they are not surprised.  Although there may be problems between the couple which may not be discussed, the kids should have the right to know a change is going to happen in the family and when.  Adults have to allow their children to express their concerns, fears and no matter what are the ages of the kids involved, the plans on what to expect after the separation should be communicated.  Also, it is very important that children maintain a close parent-child bond with their parents regardless of who they are staying with.  The relationship with extended family(grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins ) is also very important.  The kids should be allowed to visit the family despite the hurt and anger that may exist between both families. 


Furthermore, the children should never be the communicative agent between the divorced couple.  Communication should be done on an adult level and no child should be relaying information from one parent to the other.  The best healthy way for kids to deal with the separation is to not allow them to choose sides.  This is an adult problem and it should be handled in an adult way.  Divorce does not have to have a negative impact if it is handled well between the adults. 


Dr. Juliet Dinkha is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and an Associate Professor at the American University of Kuwait.  If you have any questions or comments for Dr. Dinkha, feel free to contact her via Instagram or email.


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