People do not realize the pain, not just emotionally but physically as well, that young children go through when they lose a parent, or both. What goes on inside a child’s mind is something some will never understand because at a young age everything is a blur. When the loss of a parent takes place involving children under the age of 18, they are either placed temporarily with family members or worse, put in foster care. The emotional trauma this creates is just overwhelming and devastating. A child feels like they are being punished even more when steps like that are taken, making them feel useless, and hopeless.
It can throw the child's entire life into a whirlwind. Young children, up to age five or six, are the most confused and the most disoriented by their parents’ separation. They often fear they are going to be abandoned by their parents, which causes great anxiety. The loss of a parent is extremely sad to a child of this age because they feel that their needs are not going to be attended to as well as they had before, when their needs are not going to be attended to as well as they had before, when their family was together. Many of the children in this group are worried that they will be left without a family or their parents might have money troubles and they will be deprived of food and toys.
Divorce can be an enormous obstacle, but the kids who are stuck in the middle face some of the hardest struggles. They are often confused as to what has caused the breakup and feel guilty. Close observation shows that divorce negatively affects kids in various ways including trust issues becoming increasingly present, social skills governed from developing at a normal rate, academic success decreasing. Throughout every divorce, it is imperative to be fair to each parent, but one must always remember to watch out for the well- being of the child.
Divorce can cause stress and anxiety on a child of any age. Depending on the age, children of divorce suffer psychological effects that are far reaching, even into adulthood and their own marriages. Young children in preschool age, do not really understand why their parents are divorced, and they have the need to get their parents back together. They may also tend to regress back to an earlier stage in their life by acting babylike in order to command more attention from both parents. Slightly older children, from about ages 6-8 years old, feel the same basic emotions, but they also tend to go through a grieving period, as well.
When two parents decide to divorce, their children acquire a really tough pill to swallow. The thought of one’s mom and dad not being together anymore and living with just one of them could potentially cause drastic changes in his or her person. The whole concept of divorce makes it tough on the parents as well. Because of the way in which children are affected, the parents face potential relationship struggles with their children. Research has been done and the effects of divorce differ depending on the current age and stage of life of the children.
As the case may be, children are strongly affected by divorce. Some react differently than others, but all experience some kind of emotional change. Parents who are going through a divorce sometimes try to shield their children from the situation. But regardless of their parents good intentions, children often find themselves in an emotional catastrophe. Instead of protection from the situation, children need support and reassurance during this hard time.
It is not just more crying though, it also children are crying for longer periods of time (Oppawsky, 2000). Thinking about it, it makes sense for this to occur. Divorce is a sad time for any child because no one wants to see his or her parents split up. In Oppawsky’s (2000), report children also experienced different variations of sadness as well as feeling shame with what was occurring in their family unit. Problems with emotional instability arise when children start to express anger towards their parents.
Consequently, youngsters develop fears and feelings of loneliness occur as there are no longer two parents present at home. They experience emotional trauma when adjusting to one of their parents moving out as the ‘norm’ in the household is abruptly changing. Unfortunately, children are forced to mature and grow up sooner as they may have to take the role of the other parent. The drastic change in a family’s life can be scarring for youngsters and leave many opened wounds years later. Adults who experienced divorce as a child reports increased health problems, feelings of unworthiness, difficult recollections connected to the divorce, and finally noticeable trouble in developing and sustaining intimate relationships.
Some children will place the blame entirely on themselves, while others who witness divorce will be more prone to look for love in strange places and develop violence in their own relationships. Another affect that divorce has on children is that it makes the child more likely to have troubles staying in long term relationships (Wallerstein, 1989). Young children especially, are unable to cope with the stress and drama of divorce and custody battles, leaving these children who experience divorce first hand, affected the worst (Whitehead.1998). When young people are exposed to the disturbance of divorce the psychological, emotional, and physical damages they endure remain with them for their entire lives and affect them negatively. Children and adults tend to view things that happen in their surroundings very differently.
They are so busy arguing and trying to get away from one another that they may not notice changes in their children. Divorce is a substantial change for a child, regardless of age. Children watch their parents fall out of love and move onto a completely different life. With going back and forth between households, while also dealing with the turmoil that happens after the divorce, children often do not have time to heal from the previous events. The effects that a problematic divorce may have on children are so strong that it follows them well into adulthood (Gruber).