A broken home is seen as a home where only one parent is involved in raising the children/child or a situation whereby both parents are separated or divorced and live apart from each other. Believe it or not, this has an underlying effect on the nature and make-up of any child.

Speaking on the effects of a broken home, Paul living in the Ikotun area of Lagos state narrated how he was raised by his mother and the effect it had on him. He explains that coming from a broken family contributed to his poverty. According to him, his mother was too poor to send him to school, and no one was available to assist him in business. For him, having both parents would have helped shape his life since his mother used the insufficient funds she had to feed and provide basic needs for him. 

Living with both parents is great for a child in a number of ways and even though you may not notice it, it has psychological effects on a child. 

Another obvious effect of a broken home is the academic challenges that may accompany it. Formal education is very important at all stages of a child’s development. Mrs. Gift who now hawks for a living attributed her present predicament to her inability to acquire any academic qualification which is a result of coming from a broken home. Gift stated that she dropped out of school because she couldn’t pair her education with the emotional strain of having to live without her mother plus she had no one to assist or advise her on her academics. According to her, her father was always busy with work to give her any attention. “My father threw me out of the house due to my inability to pass WAEC after four unsuccessive attempts’, she confessed and blamed it on the lack of a mother in her life”.

One more effect of a broken home that is usually overlooked is suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts arise because of depression and it is commonly associated with adolescent children going through emotional turmoil. Children from broken homes tend to exhibit signs of depression and suicidal thoughts which stems from lack of attention, care, and love.

The single parent might be occupied with work or business in a bid to make a living thereby leaving the child continuously unattended to. Some people from broken homes confessed that shyness, depression, and aggression have become an occasional part of their lives. For example, Francis in Ikeja, Lagos maintains that he is a chronic masturbator due to loneliness, lack of love, and attention which resulted from his family and childhood background. For him, he finds solace in masturbating whenever he is lonely.

In a similar vein, Bolu in his 30’s stated that he is a strong introvert due to his perpetual loneliness, lack of love, and attention. He bitterly complained about how his socially introverted nature has caused him to have occasional anger outbursts and this has slowed his business and career due to personality issues people around him will rather not deal with.

Finally, Chioma, a sex worker in Lagos Island confessed that she entered prostitution due to lack of guidance, attention, assistance, and money from her father. She explained that her single father couldn’t provide her needs and wasn’t always around. this pushed her into following her friends to engage in prostitution to fend for herself.

Some of these effects are existent in the life of a child irrespective of the absence or presence of both parents but you will agree with me that it is often exhibited and exacerbated more in the lives of kids from broken homes. Are you aware of any other effect a broken home may have on a child? Or did you grow up in a broken home? You can share your experience anonymously on our anonymous website forum. Click here to sign up for free, share your experience or story, and interact with other anonymous users.

Amarachi Ezeibekwe,
Content Lead,