The divorce is the issue, which goes beyond the boundaries of the problem of a single family. It is the issue, which touches upon the whole society and the future of the young generation. Undoubtedly, divorce makes an impact on children.
However, it is arguable whether it is better for them to live in the family, in which parents always conflict with each other, or to live with one parent but in the calm atmosphere. The aim of this essay is to analyze the effect of divorce on children.
The Opinions of Psychologists
The problem of the effect of divorce on children is the sphere of interest of many scholars. The results of the recent research show that the boys are much more vulnerable to divorce than the girls. The scholars pay attention to the relationship between the age of the child and their perception of the parents’ divorce. It has been found that the girls in the age of 6 to 13 tend to perceive it most acutely (Palosaari & Aro n.pag.).
The research indicates to the depression as the consequence of parental divorce, which the children of this age group suffer most often. Also, this age group is prone to undertaking suicide attempts (Palosaari & Aro, n.pag.).
The scholars say that the boys tend to perceive the divorce much more acutely than the girls. They feel unhappy and despairing. At the same time, the scholars argue that the timing of the divorce is not the primary determinant of the children’s psychological problems. All of them experience moral trauma, regardless of age.
However, the continuous conflict situations in the family also influence the children negatively. Many psychologists stress that divorce can be the way to make the life of both the parents and the children more harmonious and stable. That is why it may be much better for the children to live in a single parent family and do not experience the continuous emotional pressure.
It is argued that the “children of parents who engage in overt, unresolved conflict are at risk for a variety of developmental and emotional problems” (Yu et al. n.pag.). Some other scholars argue that the reasons for the divorce of parents are also important for the future of the children.
“The most startling finding was that children of “low-conflict” divorces are four times more likely to divorce than children who have seen their parents separate after a hostile and very possibly abusive or violent relationship” (Amato & Taylor n.pag.). It is emotionally difficult and painful for children to realize that their parents have fallen out of love.
It is this reason for the divorce, which makes the hardest moral pressure on them and their future romantic relationships. Besides, quarrels between the parents and the negative expressions of one of them about another one undermine the family values.
If one of the parents tries to incite the child against another parent, they facilitate the development of the cynical attitude of the child towards the relationships between the man and the woman. As a result, the children are often unwilling to create their own families when they grow up.
The divorce of parents is the hard emotional burden for the children because they are used to see their mother and father together. They need them both. The world of the child is built with the support of their parents, and when they announce the divorce, the small world of the child ruins.
The separation of family changes the life perception of children. It makes them rethink life and ethical values. Unfortunately, not all of them can find the right way and make the right choices in their lives.
The relationships between the children and their parents after the divorce are a distinct topic for the discussion. If it has been decided to leave the children with the mother, all their feelings are addressed to her. Sometimes, their relationships become even warmer and sometimes they worsen, because the children may feel themselves hurt by her.
The results of the research show that the children of divorce have worse results at school, behave themselves aggressively towards their coevals, and are inclinable to run away from home.
The psychologists and medical specialists have undertaken a series of research projects to find out whether the divorce of parents affects the infants. According to the results of their research, the infants are vulnerable to divorce as the elder children are. Even the infants in arms experience the psychological trauma caused by the separation of parents. At this period, they are very close to their mother and tend to be affected by her emotional stance.
The infant in arms continues to be, so to say, the part of the body of their mother. If she suffers from the depression, the infant suffers it too. Such kind of psychological and emotional stance may lead even to the death of the infant. Also, the stressful situation may cause the loss of breast milk, which is so important for the children’s health and development.
The psychologists claim that the divorce of parents is the sharp change in the way of life of both the adults and the children. The interruption of the ordinary family routine is, essentially, the reason for a shock in children (“Why Divorce Is So Hard” n.pag.). Furthermore, the decrease in economic welfare after the divorce is one of its consequences, which not only represents the budget constraints but also creates a difficult moral environment.
It should be noted that the divorce worsens the economic situation of the separated families very often. This means that the children get fewer opportunities to gain good education, to attend the lobby groups, and, ultimately, to realize themselves and to become successful.
The scholars argue that parental quarrels, distress, and the stressful environment in the family increase the risk of the antisocial actions of children. In particular, they claim that the children of divorce are more inclined to drug taking, smoking, and alcohol drinking (Butler et al. 19).
The Ways to Overcome the Consequences of the Divorce
The divorce is the frequent social phenomenon nowadays. Undoubtedly, the Institute of divorce is important for people’s well-being. It gives them the opportunity to be the architects of their fortune. I guess the opportunity to get the divorce strengthens the institute of marriage. People have freedom in their choices and try to build strong relationships. However, sometimes, divorce is the way to solve the continuous conflict.
Taking into account that it makes a significant influence on children, it is vital to know how to overcome its consequences. To make the “life journey” of children of divorce easier and happier, the society, the court, and the parents should take the responsibilities for mitigating its effects (“Divorce. American Style” n.pag.).
There are plenty of examples of the divorced couples, which have managed to reorganize their relationships in such a way that allows both parents to become involved in the process of their children upbringing, to remain friends to them, and to provide them the necessary parental support (Isaacs, Montalvo, Abelson 265).
The divorce is the conscious step of the adults, and they should think about not only themselves but about their children as well. The parents must help them to cope with the consequences of their separation. The adults should talk to their children and to find the words to say, which will make them perceive this situation adequately.
If the parents avoid the quarrels in the presence of their children, they already make a substantial contribution to the children’s emotional stability and help them to perceive the separation more easily. Also, the adults can find a lot of books developed for children of divorce. The reading of these stories to them will help them comprehend the situation and to realize that their parents still love them and take care of them.
The additional difficulties arise when one of the parents starts new relationships or gets married once again. It is very hard for children to understand that their mother and father have the right to create a new family and to become happy in their personal life. Many feels deprived of their love and care.
The feelings of jealousy and soreness create conflict situations. That is why the parents must remain attentive to their children and to show that nothing can interfere with their relationships. Besides, the child may think that it is their fault that their parents are separated. In that case, the adults should show that the divorce has not made them enemies and that they will always be close to their child.
The biggest mistake, which the parents make, is that they do not talk to their children. They mistakenly think that they are small enough to comprehend the situation. However, it is not so. In spite of the small age and insufficient life experience, they comprehend the situation intuitively and tend to make their judgments. The parents must be friends to them and try to discuss the problem, to ask their opinion, and to explain theirs.
To sum up, all the above mentioned, it should be said that divorce affects the children substantially. It puts the emotional and moral pressure on them, making them rethink the family values, to which they adhered before. The children tend to be prone to depression, apathy, or aggression. The children of divorce tend to run away from home. The attempts at committing suicide may also become the consequences of family separation.
The boys are more vulnerable to divorce than girls. The most critical period is between 6 and 13 years old, but the divorce affects even the infants in arms. However, the separation of parents may be the only way to provide a calm environment for children. The divorced couples must be conscientious and help their children to perceive the divorce easily. There are several ways to overcome the consequences of separation.
Amato, Paul and Susanna Taylor. ” Mummy, Daddy, Please Stop Being So Nice to Each Other ; How Do You Minimise the Effect of Divorce on Children? by Letting Rip in Front of Them. Angela Neustatter on Why It’s Better to Have Rows.” The Independent. (2001):n.pag. Questia. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
Butler, Ian, Lesley Scanlan, Margaret Robinson, Gillian Douglas and Mervyn Murch. Divorcing Children: Children’s Experience of Their Parents’ Divorce. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2003. Print.
“Divorce. American Style”. The Nation 271.18 (2000): n.pag. Questia. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
Isaacs, Marla Beth, Braulio Montalvo and D. Abelson. The Difficult Divorce: Therapy for Children and Families, New York: Basic Books, 1986. Print.
Palosaari, Ulla and Hillevi Aro. ” Effect of Timing of Parental Divorce on the Vulnerability of Children to Depression in Young Adulthood.” Adolescence 29.115 (1994): n.pag. Questia. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
“Why Divorce Is So Hard on the Children.” Daily Mail. (1996):n.pag. Questia. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
Yu, Tianyi, Pettit, Greggory S., Lansford, Jennifer E., Dedge, Kenneth A. and John E. Bates. “The Interactive Effects of Marital Conflict and Divorce on Parent – Adult Children’s Relationships.” Journal of Marriage and Family 72.2 (2010): n.pag. Questia. Web. 19 Nov. 2013-11-19.