5 Ways Divorce Mentally Affects Children 

Most experts agree that divorce takes a mental and emotional toll on a family, especially the children. Experts like teachers and social workers often notice changes in kids whose parents have divorced. Here are some common effects of divorce on children:


Children of divorce sometimes lose a parent who moves away and seldom comes for visits. Some parents visit physically but are emotionally unavailable. This is not only heartbreaking for a child, but it also fosters the feeling that maybe the other parent will leave, too, or perhaps the child did something to drive away the abandoning parent. Reduced self-worth and fear of the future may arise as a result.

Lower Grades

Following a divorce, kids who were earning good grades before sometimes become discouraged and lose interest in schoolwork. They might withdraw from extracurricular activities, as well, leaving them academically unprepared for higher education or a career.

Sleep Problems

When household dynamics change following a divorce, kids may have trouble sleeping. Some experience more bad dreams. These changes come about because of stress as common children reaction to divorces strain on the family. Young children may regress and wet the bed at night.

Social Anxiety

As a family splinters, the residential parent or both parents frequently withdraw and become depressed. They may argue with each other. The kids notice these behaviors and because they typically cannot discuss them directly with their parents, they post about their feelings on social media. Many children who were formerly socially involved with friends in the community become more reclusive and resort to social media, where they occasionally reveal too much or distorted information about themselves.


A high number of kids whose parents have divorced report feeling depressed for years afterward, and some for the rest of their lives. Although feelings of sadness may become less intense over time, they leave an emotional imprint on children, which may require later treatment and possibly impact subsequent family relationships as they mature.

Divorce is sometimes the only option for a family. No matter the circumstances, it takes a mental toll on children. Parents should consider working with a professional and experienced counselor to help children deal with their feelings of distress during and after a marriage breakup.

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