Divorce: How It Affects Kids’ Mental Health

By Dickson Osas

Numerous studies discovered that parental separation has a great mental impact on children; children between the ages of 6 to 13 at the time of separation have a high chance of developing anxiety attacks, lack of concentration, and in the long run, exhibit signs of stress.

This article Is meant to highlight some of the critical effects divorces have on the mental health of children and what to do to cushion the effect; listed below are some of the noticeable effects:

Mental Effects of Divorces on Children

1. Uncertainty 

When a situation like this occurs, it creates a deep sense of uncertainty in these kids; since children get their sense of security and predictability from their home and parents, they become so confused and uncertain when things 

suddenly go wrong in their home, which gives them a sense of uncertainty about their Family, about their selves, and the world they live in; when this happens often they need help to change their perspective and restore a sense of security in them otherwise, it will become so difficult for them 

2. Conflict of loyalty

When a child witnesses the breakup of parents, one way or the other, the child is drawn into a conflict, he/she has no interest in. Still, it becomes important for such a child to choose a side since both parents aren’t living together anymore, the child will have to choose whether to live with the mother or father, and that could have a debilitating effect on that child since such child won’t have a choice than to pledge loyalty to one half of the parent he’s staying with, avoiding this situation parents needs to look past their differences and try as much as possible to make things work out between them, so they don’t end up creating a conflict of loyalty for their children, and the child can be loving them both instead of being forced to chose either of them.

3. Reconciliation Fantasy

 This is a psychological term where kids persistently wish or hope that they are parent will get back together; this is not particularly harmful; it’s only normal for the child to want things to go back to the way it was, but in most cases, the parents know that is not going to happen and that create a long feeling of expectation and hopefulness, this feeling can last till these children become adult since they always wish they can see their parents back together to live as one Family. However, because when parents are not together, it invariably breaks apart the child’s world since he/she will have to jostle between two-parent and try to choose who to love most and who to live with, it surely makes things difficult for these kids, and that’s why parents need to be careful to not create this awful situation for their children.

4. Alienation

This happens when one of the parents tries to make things worse by planting a seed of discontent in their children by making them see the other parent as bad; it is nasty tactics that end up hurting children more than their parents; parents should learn to own up to their problems and avoid dragging their children into their discordant, this takes a lot of effort from the parents, try as much as possible to honor and respect the other parent even if you hated them, for your child mental health you to at all times respect and protect the image of the other parent, this may not be an easy thing to do, but it is important to learn to do it to avoid the damaging effect of parental alienation on the child.

5. Anxiety and Depression

This happens a lot among children whose parents divorced, and this can happen due to all other factors discussed above; kids always need a lot of support growing up. 

Love and positive parenting go a long way to creating a feeling of security and certainty. Most times want assurance of stability, and this can only be achieved when both parents are together to raise their kids with a combined effort. They must be able to walk through the difficulties that might arise in their marriage and learn to reconcile all the time instead of deciding to walk away. It Is important to know that children are very resilient; when they are approached with love and confidence, they can get through anything. Therefore, parents must do everything at all times to avoid the damaging effect of divorce on their children.


These are some of the mental effects of divorces on children. There is no other way to make things better than for parents to try their best to avoid separation. If it becomes unavoidable, they should try as much as possible to make the child feel loved, not say negative things about each other, and not push the child to a right corner regarding choosing whose custody they’d rather be or who they should love more because when this happens, it creates a traumatic feeling that might last a lifetime with such child.