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The Effect of Divorce on ChildrenAll parents want their children to succeed. However, the perfect recipe for success is unknown. Every child is different and reacts to trials and tribulation in their own way. When it comes to school, how kids learn has often been a hot topic of debate. Home life, however, is often a major influence on the mid-set and disposition of a child.

Long ago it had been concluded that a convoluted and fragmented home life often lead to possible learning disabilities and problems interacting with children in school. When it comes to parents, divorce, and the effects it has on kids’ grades, the findings are somewhat similar. Parents will go to great lengths to shield their kids from their struggles in the marriage and divorce process. Kid’s are more attentive than their parents give them credit for, as some studies surely tell us.

It’s Not the Road to the Crash But the Crash Itself

Studies have connected divorce and the split of the family to lower completion rates and sub-par grades in school for some time. These results can often be broad and tough to pin down. One thought raised by researchers is the fact that no divorce occurs suddenly, but often months and even years of tension and discord that lead up to the eventual split of spouses. So why are the outward affects only seen after a divorce is official, but not during the likely internal conflict taking place. The study found that 3,500 children, whose parents divorced between the first and third grade, scored lower in math and had poorer interpersonal skills than those whose parents stayed married.

The Age of Understanding

The negative effects on the child’s grades and the timing in which the impact surfaced suggest that the tension leading up to a divorce impacts kids performance less than the actual split or loss of a parent. Another prominent study looked at the age in which a kid’s parents got divorced and how it affected their emotional make-up and, ultimately, their successes and failures in school and other facets of life. This study showed that the separation or timing of divorce can produce various affects depending on the age of the child at the time of the divorce. A child who was in elementary school while experiencing their parents’ divorce was more likely to show adverse effects of internalizing and externalizing problems than someone who experienced a divorce at an older age. They were shown to have more emotional problems, confusion, blame, and unable to successfully take advantage of outside resources. In contrast, a later divorce was shown to adversely affect a child or young adult’s grades more directly. This was said to possibly be explained by having the divorce process coincide with a time when academics become a more serious endeavor and take on more importance. The increased pressures of academics and the importance placed on succeeding, along with the family turmoil, can be quite overwhelming for young teenagers.

Regardless of a child’s academic climate or school disposition, divorce can be a traumatic period for any child. Studies have long been connected to many different variables and obstacles in children, and eventual adults, of divorced families. One tip for divorcing parents with children is to try to keep them in a common routine. Working together can be tough after a split, but caring for a child and making sure they are able to adapt to their changing environment, both with divorce, school, and with growing up, can often be the difference in a divorced child’s ability to adapt and be successful. Divorce can take its toll, no matter the situation, but it doesn’t have to be crippling.

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