Blog Parents Parenting Tips Effects of Strained Family Relationships on a Child’s Education

Effects of Strained Family Relationships on a Child’s Education

Parental care and love are essential in developing a child’s social and cognitive skills needed for their success at school. 

It also offers a strong foundation that enables them to attain optimal development. Unfortunately, inevitable family problems such as bullying, parental conflict, financial strife, and divorce may arise.

In most cases, children are likely to reel from the adverse effects of strained family relationships. This is because most children don’t have the mental capacity or tools to manage stress adequately. 

Hence, the effects of strained family relationships appear in various ways, such as performing poorly in school.

Let’s delve deeper and discuss how common issues at home can affect a child’s performance in school and how to help children overcome them.

Changes in Family Relationships

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Some changes that can happen in families include blending two families or parents divorcingBoth occurrences can upset or confuse a child. As a result, they may become withdrawn at school, or start acting out.

In most cases, single parents may have to work longer hours to meet their child’s needs. This means they’ll be spending less time with their children, making them feel neglected, resulting in poor concentration at school.

Concurrently, if two families come together, children may feel left out as their parents try to accommodate the other family, and they have to divide their attention.

Sibling Bullying

Another harmful problem that parents may fail to show concern about is sibling bullying. We assume that some poking-fun or roughhousing is part and parcel of growing up with siblings.

Unfortunately, sometimes name-calling, intimidation, and humiliation get out of hand because one child feels pushed around. Sibling bullying may lead to depression, loneliness, emotional problems and can even affect one’s self-esteem.

This could be a nightmare for a child, which will eventually reflect negatively on their grades.

Divorce and Separation

Parental divorce or separation can affect children negatively because they experience diminished psychological welfare.

According to recent studies, children who see their parents undergo divorce will likely display behavioural and psychological reactions varying from increased irritability, poor concentration in school, depression, loss of interest, and anxiety.

Apart from the symptoms above, children will also attain lower grades in school and have problems with social relationships.

Parental Absenteeism

Financial instability can affect school readiness in many ways. Children from impoverished families lack parental consistency.

As a result, they may lack supervision, experience poor role modelling, have frequent changes in part-time caregivers, and do not get enough healthy nutrition.

According to the “Pediatric Child Health” journal titled “The Impact of Poverty on Educational Outcomes for Children”, children from lower-income homes face various challenges in school.

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They tend to score low grades in vocabulary skills and communication. They can’t recognise and copy symbols, lack teamwork, and have low concentration levels.

Additionally, because they don’t receive adequate parental support, they have higher cortisol levels, which is associated with slow cognitive development.

How to Show Your Child Love and Support

Whenever your family is going through a rough patch, communicating with your child is essential. Don’t divulge everything, but don’t mask up the situation at hand.

For instance, if you’re going through a divorce or separation with your partner, help your child understand the situation and support them through the changes.

After addressing the issue, show your child the much-needed support and love. Here are a few tips to help you:

Encourage Your Child to Express Their Feelings When Going Through a Divorce

Whenever your child talks about their feelings, try not to interrupt. Instead, listen carefully. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing how they feel; hence, exercising patience is vital. Let them express their concerns and fears openly. 

Answer all their questions honestly. In case your child isn’t comfortable discussing their problems with you, help them find someone trustworthy such as a counsellor or another family member.

Stop Aggressive Behavior by Holding the Bully Responsible

Even when they disagree, let your children know the importance of treating each other with respect. 

Whenever children react to one another aggressively, including name-calling, pushing, or hitting, intervene as quickly as possible. 

Children should understand that bullying is a personal choice that should not be allowed. Emphasise that bullying is harmful to anyone in general, moreover their siblings whom they have to get along with everyday and grow up with. It can severely affect their self-esteem, which may carry on to their adulthood. 

For example, is an apology required? Should the culprit be grounded? The severity of discipline depends on your parenting style.

Nurture Relationships and Build Trust

A majority of couples spend their early months or years building a solid relationship between the both of them.

Take one day in a week to discuss arising issues, parenting, and finances. Happy parents equate to happy children, which create a loving home. Don’t ignore your relationships and find enough time to nurture yourself.

Similarly, while taking time to improve the new family dynamics, follow your children’s cues keenly. When children push you away, give them space while finding the best approach to build trust.

Take an interest in their hobbies, help them with their homework, read together, and play board games. Spend some time with your children and encourage your spouse to do the same.

Using a positive method for discipline lets children know that they can approach frustrating situations without conflict. Also, they learn how to make better choices in a calm manner.

Communicate with Children about Financial Crisis

Whenever families go through changes in their lives, addressing them is vital. Although you’ll be distressed about your household’s situation, offer your child information about your financial constraint.

Don’t keep such information from children to “save face”. Have a family discussion, discuss spending priorities and how each person will manage the available finances.

Avoid Criticising the Other Parent

Family problems cause stress on both parents and children. However, it’s important not to involve children in your disputes, as this increases their distress.

You may unknowingly pressure your child into disliking the other parent so that they enjoy your affection. Despite differences with your partner, allow your child to spend time with the other parent so that they can build a positive relationship. 

Don’t use your child to frustrate your partner; instead, allow them to be children by ensuring they enjoy their childhood. You shouldn’t expect them to understand your problems, or live up to your expectations.


Balancing education both at home and school shapes up children’s actual learning. Parental encouragement plays a significant role in a student’s success because it promotes positive social and emotional development. 

It’s the sole responsibility of parents or guardians to be the helping hand throughout a child’s educational experience.

A child’s education begins from home. Parents are the first teachers; hence they play a significant role in developing their character!

We hope that this article has been helpful for you. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.