Purple Sky Counseling

Divorce is not always harmful for Kids: Understanding the Impact of Divorce on Children

Divorce is a difficult and emotional experience for everyone involved, especially children. Many parents wonder if their children will be negatively impacted by their divorce, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The truth is that the effects of divorce on children depend upon many factors, including the age and maturity of the child, the severity of the conflict between the parents, the amount of support provided to the child, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

At Purple Sky Counseling, we understand the stress and anxiety that can accompany a divorce and we are here to provide support and guidance to help parents and children manage the transition. Our team of skilled and experienced therapists can help you and your family understand the impact of divorce on children and develop effective strategies for coping.

What is the Impact of Divorce on Children?

When considering the impact of divorce on children, it is important to remember that each child is unique and will experience the divorce in their own way. While some children may experience significant distress, others may not be affected at all. Additionally, children who initially seem unaffected by the divorce may later experience difficulties as they get older.

In general, the younger a child is at the time of the divorce, the better they tend to fare. This is because younger children have less of an understanding of what is happening and may not be aware of the full implications of the divorce. On the other hand, older children may have a better understanding of what is happening and may have more difficulty adjusting to the changes.

In addition to age, the amount of conflict between the parents and the amount of support available to the child can also influence their experience of the divorce. Children who are exposed to high levels of parental conflict are more likely to have difficulty adjusting to the divorce than those who experience less conflict. Similarly, children who have access to supportive adults such as family members, friends, and teachers are more likely to fare better than those without a supportive network.

Finally, the amount of time the child spends with each parent is also important. Children who are able to maintain strong relationships with both parents tend to experience less distress than those who spend less time with one parent.

Common Reactions of Children to Divorce

When considering the impact of divorce on children, it is important to be aware of the common reactions that children may experience. These reactions can vary depending on the age of the child and the circumstances of the divorce, but some of the most common reactions include:

• Regression: Younger children may experience regression, such as bedwetting, thumb-sucking, or temper tantrums, as a way of coping with their feelings.

• Anxiety and Fear: Children may become anxious or fearful as they worry about their future and the unknown.

• Anger: Children may express their anger through aggressive behavior or outbursts.

• Guilt: Children may feel guilty about the divorce, believing that it is their fault.

• Sadness: Children may become withdrawn and sad as they struggle to process their emotions.

• Low Self-Esteem: Children may experience a decrease in self-esteem as they feel like they are no longer part of a family.

Coping Strategies for Children of Divorce

When it comes to helping children cope with the divorce, it is important to provide them with a supportive environment and to encourage open communication. Here are some tips for helping children of divorce:

• Spend quality time with them: Spending time with your children can help them feel secure and loved. Make sure to set aside time each week to spend with your children and let them know they are still part of a family.

• Listen to their concerns: Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and listen without judgment. Let them know that it is okay to be angry, sad, or scared and that you are there to support them.

• Give them space: It is important to give your children the space to process their emotions and figure out how to cope. It can be tempting to try to fix their problems, but it is important to let them find their own solutions.

• Offer reassurance: Let your children know that even though their family is changing, they are still loved and supported. Share stories about how you overcame challenges in your own life and encourage them to stay strong.

• Seek professional help: If your children are struggling to cope with the divorce, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can provide a safe and supportive environment for your children to express their feelings and learn effective coping strategies.


Divorce is a difficult experience, but it does not have to be damaging to your children. By providing your children with a supportive environment, listening to their concerns, and offering reassurance, you can help them navigate the transition and build resilience. If your children are struggling to cope, it may be helpful to seek professional help. At Purple Sky Counseling, we understand the challenges of divorce and we are here to provide support and guidance for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.