Family Issues that Could Impact Your Child’s Health 

Common family issues could severely impact both your child’s emotional and physical health, leaving them susceptible to long-term conditions throughout their lives. Although these issues are common and mostly unavoidable, you can take action to prevent any lasting impact on your child’s wellbeing and outlook on life while the experience is happening.  

Divorce or Separation 

Although growing up in a happy and stable home can have positive psychological effects on your child, when your marriage is at an end, or you and your partner are deciding to separate, your child may experience adverse effects on their emotional and mental health. Children may experience feelings of guilt, worry for the future, or blame themselves for the nature of the separation. They may also develop worrying mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. However, the effect of a divorce on a child is dependent on how long a divorce takes, as this can lessen the period of stress for your child and ensure that financial and care arrangements are made for them as soon as possible.  


A death in the family, whether that be a parent or another close relative, has different effects on children depending on how old they are and their maturity level. However, most children from the age of 5 understand that death is final and that it is a natural process that happens to everyone. Your child may have problems sustaining relationships with friends or relatives, experiences a long period of sadness or depression with symptoms such as a loss of sleep and appetite. They may also be in denial, imitate the dead person, or begin to show signs of separation anxiety. If they show any of these signs, you should consider seeking medical help on their behalf. To support your child through the process, you should listen to their emotions around the death, try to recreate their normal routine and plan activities for them, as well as seeking grief counselling or a doctor’s help if needed.  

Domestic Abuse 

Another common family issue that children may experience is domestic abuse. Many children witness this through hearing violence or arguments through walls, seeing injuries or scars on the abused, and being shut away while the abuse is happening. Children may experience feelings of guilt and become withdrawn from others. They may also show symptoms of physical illness, such as constant cold and flu symptoms. There may also be long-term side effects, which could be repeating the behaviour that they have witnessed when they embark on a relationship in the futureHowever, there are ways to help your child to cope with domestic abuse after it has occurred and protect them from it in the future. If your child talks to you about domestic abuse, you should make them feel safe and protected and explain clearly what you are going to do about what they have witnessed, such as get the police or social services involved.  


Poverty causes many effects on the physical health of children, such as a low birth weight due to poor nutrition, asthma due to poor housing, and obesity through unhealthy foods and the inability to partake in usual childhood sporting activities. There are now many benefits available for those who experience extreme poverty, and other charities may be able to help you combat the effects of poverty on your child.  

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