How does divorce affect children?

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divorce.jpg Divorce rates these days are much higher than they used to be. Though some people are better off getting a divorce than trying to make their marriage work like they were required to in the old days, are their kids better off? According to our text, "studies show that the substantial majority of children survive their parents' divorce without long-term emotional damage. The apparent effects of divorce depend on the severity of conflict between parents before the divorce... Still, divorce can surely produce negative effects on some children" (Lilienfeld 391). As someone who has personally experienced divorce, I can say that I've had my fare share of emotional ups and downs, but all in all, I know that I can one day have a functional relationship even if my parents could not. child-split-in-two.jpg
Like this boy on the right, the big problem that I've had with my parents' divorce is balancing my time that I spend with my mom and my dad. I was lucky enough not to be apart of a family whose parents absolutely hate each other, but I always worried about one getting jealous of me spending more time with the other so that was a huge stressor put on my shoulders. As I mentioned before, some say the severity of conflict between parents before the divorce can have an effect on the child's emotional "damage," and I'd have to agree with that. My parents fought a lot before they decided to separate, so in the end, the divorce was almost a relief to escape the fighting. Though it was a huge struggle for me at first getting used to my parents being separated, I whole-heartedly believe that some people are just not meant to be together, my parents included. Having that optimistic point of view has helped me cope with the fact that when I have kids, they will have to deal with divorced grandparents.

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I think I kind of understand what your feel about this divorce topic. My parents fought with each other a lot when I was a child, and I have to say that I suffered a lot from those fights. I kind of lost my confidence in doing anything. And I don't totally agree with our text that "the substantial majority of children survive their parents' divorce without long-term emotional damage." Some of my friends' parents got divorced when they were children. They kind of have strong protections of themselves and they are very independent. As far as I get well with them, I think they all have a fragile heart and want somebody to protect them.
Nice job and I really enjoy reading your blog!

This is a really hard topic to write about. I feel like scientists cannot draw conclusions on how divorce impacts children, because every divorce is sooo different. Also, every child reacts differently to change and conflict and other attributes of divorce. One would hope that most children of divorced parents aren't emotionally damaged, like the text says, but I feel that we can't know for sure. Overall, good blog, so many students can relate to this!

I agree with the comment above- I find it hard to apply scientific statistics about divorce to real life situations. How can they measure the impact that a divorce has on a small child? And I also wonder if the amount of impact changes with age as well. I know so many kids who's parents have gone through divorce and there is an extremely large range in the reactions that each person had. I enjoyed that you related this to your personal life as well- nice insight.

Interesting topic. Having had friends that have dealt with divorce in their families I know how much this can affect the kids in the family. I can't imagine how hard it must be to find balance between both parents after a divorce. I liked that you put your ideas into perspective.

I really enjoyed reading your blog and more about this topic. I have never experienced divorce, but can imagine how hard and confusing it must be for children, especially when they are younger. Balancing between my two parents would be very frustrating and upsetting I can't imagine. It is relieving to know though that most kids survive the divorce with not much long term damage!
Great topic and good job relating it to your own life!

This is a really hard hitting topic! It is amazing today how many people we all know that have divorced parents. While it seems that it is hard at the time, I do not know anyone that is long-term affected by their parents divorce. Thankfully in my life I never have had to deal with my parents getting a divorce or talking about it, but I have seen many of my friends go through it. Great blog!

This is a very interesting and sensitive topic. I am glad that I have not had to deal with my parents being divorced, I imagine that it would be very hard especially if they are always fighting because you don't necessarily want to take a side in it. It is sad that parents can't get along and even worse if it ends up affecting their children.

I feel the same as you, when my parents got divorced I saw it as more of a relief than anything else, because I too wanted to escape their fighting. At this time I would say that my parents divorce did not have a huge effect on me emotionally, but I also believe no one really knows for sure until they are older and in a similar situation.

The pictures in your blog really make readers feel sad. One of my friend's parents got divorced when she was 6, and it change her character a lot. We also try to avoid talking about our family in front of her. Parents divorce sometimes is really a disaster of children.

As you describe, divorce can be a very difficult and complex situation for not only the parents but children also. I too am from a family of divorced parents so i understand the difficulty from both sides. It was especially difficult going from seeing a parent all the time to only occasionally. This happened when i was younger so i didn't understand the full magnitude f the situation but as i got older i understood things better and came to conclusion of that i just wanted my parents to be happy whether that was together or apart. It is never easy, but as you say there are circumstances where divorce is the better option. Nice post, sparked some good discussions.

I also was form a divorced household. One of the hardest thing I have to deal with is dividing time. Unlike you my parents did have hostilities between them. It was/is so bad that I generally do not enjoy celebrations because I don't want to deal with the tension of them both being in the same place with desires for my attention. I also do not want to deal with them being upset that I would show favoritism toward one over the other. Just looking at our too, albeit superficial, situations it would seem the severity of the conflict determines the impact on the child.

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This page contains a single entry by lynch375 published on March 25, 2012 8:27 PM.

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