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Monday, July 25, 2011

Essay on Impact of Divorce on Children - Impact of Divorce on Family

When a marriage ends in divorce the immediate effect is that the parents get to live their separate life.  For them, it could be a relief as living separately from each other is a solution to their marriage woes.  Their separation can be a considered to have a beneficial effect on couple considering that either of them can go out on a date, party with friends, and live an independent life.

For children, however, it is not always the case.  Children do not see anything positive resulting from a divorce.  In fact, for them divorce is “an extraordinarily difficult experience (Alison Clarke-Stewart 106).  They do not gain anything from the divorce.  On the contrary, most of them experience mixed feelings of anger, confusion, and betrayal by their parents.  In a divorce the children are the damage.  

Children have always been perceived resilient but it cannot be denied that effects of their parents’ divorce can take a toll on them. Most couples who are divorced are especially concerned about how their children are going to take it and move on with their lives. A good number of factors are often considered absolute when dealing with children throughout the course of paternal separation: the gender and personality of the child, the conflict of the parents before, during, and after the divorce, and the support network they gain.

Research shows that children from divorced families have more behavioral, emotional, health and academic problems.  While there have never been accounts on the effects of divorce on children below three years of age, children from that age until five feel that they are responsible for their parents’ divorce and perhaps would harbor the guilt feelings for the rest of their life. They may have abandonment issues and fear of being alone. Children who have just started schooling would feel pain because of the divorce but would be able to fully understand it. They may be introverted or portray angst regarding the issue. Teenagers feel the same but to a higher degree. They may be forced to act in place of their estranged parent and bear the stress of doing so. Teens may have attachment issues in the long run.

Studies also show that children from divorced families experience difficulty adjusting to the social environment.  They have poor social esteem and have difficulty coping with stress.  Some of them even exhibit violent behavior.  

It is also possible that some children may have issues with his sexual preferences.  Regarding the gender of the parent and children, studies showed that children raised by the parent with the same sex as theirs may do better than when raised with parents with opposite sex as theirs.

Divorce may be an unavoidable event in the family.  But its impact on the children can be controlled.  If the parents no longer feels that the marriage will work it is better for tem to avoid fighting and exchanging arguments in front of their children.  The parents should also be sensitive to the needs of their children. While it may be true that they also have needs that need to be addressed the delicate situation of young children who had to see their parents marriage end up in divorce requires much more attention.  Parents should support their children since children who have found support throughout the divorce are able to bounce from the event and have a good relationship with both of the parents while those who have not found one tend to feel alone and would not get over from the divorce.  Though adaptation of children with divorced parents considering their age and gender may be true, other researches suggested that quality of the parent-child relationship helps children adapt more than the gender and age of the child. Parents who have resolved their divorce with less or no arguments tend to have children who have adapted well while those who have moderate to frequent arguments tend to have children with a number of issues regarding trust, abandonment, and attachment.

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