There is still a debate among psychotherapists regarding whether the divorce is harder on younger kids or college-age children. There are rightful arguments from both sides. For example, experts say that kids tend to feel more guilty in parents getting divorced than college students. At the same time, college students get much angrier. This discussion will continue and most probably will never be resolved fully as all people are different, and they react differently in similar situations.
Let’s start with numbers
Children of parents whose divorce did not pass competently well have significantly more difficulties in self-realization and adaptation.
They have more health problems and are three times more likely to have psychological problems.
According to studies, the influence of parental divorce on children can be enormous. 25% of children from divorced families have social, emotional, and psychological problems, compared to 10% of children from full families.
But this does not mean that parents need to maintain the facade of the family only because there are such risks. It only means they have to try to make separation as civilized as possible.
Teenagers — children of divorced parents — in college
- A teenager may be aggressive towards a parent whom he considers guilty of divorce. This aggression can also be transferred to his peers in college.
- Another feeling that occurs in children is a shame. This is especially true for adolescents. It is difficult for them to share with their peers that a radical change has occurred in the family. If we are talking about a new college student, he or she might experience difficulties in building any kind of friendly connection in a new group.
- A teenager is already experiencing a crisis of his age; additional stress can aggravate it. Sometimes at this age, children leave home, behave demonstratively, threaten to leave to live with another parent, and so on. There are many cases in which college students leave education. Even the most brilliant students. Often it happens because students experience growing pressure and can’t deal with it on their own. In some cases, addressing a professional academic writer from an essay writing company, such as SmartWritingService, is enough to balance the situation.
- The separation of consequences by age is rather arbitrary. How divorce affects a child depends on his type of temperament, relations within the family, relations with each parent, and parents among themselves. Also important is the way parents behave after deciding on a divorce.
- Divorce makes a teenager take a fresh look at himself and his parents. His own “I” suffers greatly in such a situation – especially when a teenager begins to blame himself for what happened in the family, or encounters difficulties associated with the attitude of others to such situations.
In order to restore self-esteem, suffered as a result of family breakdown, as well as to cope with stress caused by domestic conflicts, children of divorced or living separately parents commit acts related to the risk to their health (smoking, drinking alcohol, and drugs, etc.). Such risks often involve group experience. Children with the destroyed self-esteem will more likely join college troublemakers group, then make a dean’s list.
After the parents’ divorce, the teenager will have to adapt to the absence of one of them – and often the one to which he was most attached. If the divorced parent has a new marriage, which usually happens, the teenager is faced with the need to adapt to his stepmother or stepfather.
Here are some most kinds of deviations in an emotional state and actual behavior:
- Denial, refusal to believe what happened. The teenager claims that the parents do not have serious problems, do not want to listen to their explanations, hopes that they will change their mind, etc. Many children live in the hope that their parents will be together again: among 5-7-year-old children, 65.7% indicated this, in adolescence and youth, these hopes diminish, but still remain in 16% of respondents;
- Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Due to the egocentric perception of the teenager’s world, the changes that can happen in his personal life are the first to frighten him: the need to change his place of residence, school, social circle, possible changes in his material situation. Teenagers may be ashamed of their family problems in front of their peers;
- Anger and hostility towards one of the parents who are responsible for the divorce, or towards both. A teenager may blame the father or mother for abandoning the family, claim that he hates them, never forgive, etc .;
- Jealousy. If a father or mother begins to meet with another person and becomes emotionally attached to him, then the teenager feels abandoned, afraid that he is no longer interested in the parent, and his place as a driver’s heart will be taken by an outsider.
Also Read: Staying Healthy Through A Difficult Breakup
College students, children of divorced parents, are a sensitive category. College psychologists, parents, professors should be observing his or her behavior, help when possible, and add some restrictions when needed.