An Abuja-based life coach and counselling officer, Deborah Menegbe, has said that divorce among married couple leaves children psychologically and emotionally exhausted.
Menegbe told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja that emotional scars from such failed relationships could also have drastic effect on the society.
The expert said divorce hurts all the family members, including the children, however younger children do not understand the challenges, but feel the absence of one of the parents not being around.
“Pain of divorce could go away after sometime but the memories remain with the children especially when they think about it,” she said.
“While some children could let go certain feelings, some children cannot let go negative feelings and emotions but rather keep them alive.
“And by so doing, they keep on feeling mistreated, misguided and pathetic, and such feelings prevent them from focusing on positive things and on a new future,’’ she said.
Highlighting the negative impact of divorce on children, Menegbe said research over the years had proven that children from divorced homes could suffer academically and experience high level of behavioral challenges.
She said due to a substantial drop in income from divorced parents, the children are more likely to live in scarcity than children with married parents.
Menegbe added that teens from divorced homes are also more likely to engage in drugs and alcohol abuse than those with families.
She explained that as naive and helpless as the children may appear with no voices to speak for them, their parents get divorced and pursue better relationships.
“Most times, there is a disconnection in communication if the child is a minor and she or he goes with the mom, while dad stops visiting or calling to check on the child.
“The feeling of abandonment and confusion is further compounded when one or both parents find a new spouse which could cause complications and new emotional trauma.
“The children begin to grapple with new step siblings and step parent’s attention,’’ she said.
Menegbe further advised parents to imbibe the act of solving problems, noting that a conflict-filled environment was not healthy to raise kids.
She advised that when all avenues to salvage the marriage have been utilised and divorce becomes inevitable, such couples must ensure that welfare of the kids was properly planned before divorced papers are signed.
She added that either of the parents could live with the children while giving them the best of parenting.