How Does Divorce Affect Children

By Emily Rouse

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, one out of every two marriages today ends in divorce- many of which include children. Of course, that children are affected by divorce is a huge concern to parents and society in general. And, in actuality, one of the biggest fears that parents have is how it will affect their children.

The threat to a child’s perceived security can be incredibly frightening and confusing to a child. A divorce involves everyone that they interact with, especially childcare providers like teachers, daycare providers, and afterschool care providers. Luckily there are several materials available to help childcare providers help children whose parents are in the midst of a divorce.

Some great materials have been put online by the Purdue University extension program. One of the largest providers of scientific, research-based information and education, Purdue Extension is a part of the Corporative Extension Service, a network of colleges, universities, and the Department of Agriculture.

They have a particularly good section on their site about kids who have to deal with divorce drawn from scientific studies and research. It explains the ages and stages that come into play with divorce, and how, say, toddlers react differently to a divorce from older children.

Purdue Extension also has information on what can make a difference in the children’s lives and how parents can best tell them about the divorce, this includes how the level of conflict between parents effects kids and how to support children socially. It also discusses the difference between boys and girls going through divorce.

But really, one of the biggest issues, is to make sure that everyone involved has the chance to spend as much time as possible with the children. Keith Krach, a Purdue trustee, explains that it’s difficult- especially when kids are involved in a lot of different activities.

“The transition from the traditional kind of parenting was obviously a big change,” he explained when discussing how difficult his family’s schedule was. “Communication is absolutely key, and making sure you have a big family calendar is a necessity.”

But no matter

“I’ve always had a very interesting life and travel a lot, but my highest priority is my kids,” details Keith Krach. “I will change anything on my schedule for them. The time I cherish most is with them.”

Emily Rouse is a graduate student and big sister whose parents divorced when she was 16. Her sources for this article include:
Purdue Extension

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