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Are boys and girls affected differently by divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce wears heavily on all members of the family. When it comes to children, however, the effects can also be different based on their gender. And as California parents attempt to support and help their children through and after the process, this is an important distinction that they need to keep in mind.

The many effects of divorce

According to studies boys and girls are affected when their parents seek a divorce in three ways: physiologically, emotionally, and psychologically. In the end, when parents end their marriage, their children experience major changes, not just in the family dynamics, but within themselves.

Girls and boys react to divorce differently

As girls deal with their parents’ divorce, they might experience a sense that they need to act emotionally mature, taking on more responsibility in the home and the family. Additionally, some girls also report losing interest in their education. Girls in these situations also have a higher change of entering adolescence earlier and physically maturing faster.

On the other hand, the biggest effect on boys seems to be psychological, as they can become more aggressive and violent. Their self-esteem often drops, and the younger boys might become less independent. In cases where the fathers are less present, boys might also struggle with emotional maturity.

Helping children cope with the divorce

Parents, however, can help their children deal with the end of the marriage to balance the possible negative effects. Some of the ways they can do so include:

  • Offering continuing support to the children
  • Creating a stable environment with clear roles and routines
  • Cooperating with the other parent and working towards successful co-parenting
  • Encouraging the children to bond with both parents
  • Preventing the children from witnessing the conflicts between the parents

After the divorce, children should remain a priority. Protecting their well-being during and after the process will help the children continue to develop in a healthy manner.