Imagine going between two different households to visit one parent while living with the daily absence of one parent. Many children live through this ongoing challenge, this sometimes unpredictable surprise hurts children more than the separating couple. Thus, reactions to divorce can be an anxious one that will only delay a child’s adjustment to growing older.
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While many may believe that children will get over the split of their parents, divorce actually can cause more problems in that child’s life when they grow older no matter what age they were when the divorce occurred. Divorce often introduces masses of changes including their homes and soon starts to result in the lack of self-confidence. Divorce intensifies children’s independence and they tend to have very aggressive reactions. Since divorce became legal children are now more suitable for mental illnesses and many other outcomes big or small.
In some cases divorce may be beneficial for children, however, no situation is perfect. In 1701 Maryland declared divorce legal and in 1970 the state of Alabama legalized no-fault divorces (Kalafut 2005). Divorce has been affecting children since the beginning and after all there are no guarantees in life, hence affecting children for many years to come. Children want to feel more connected with their relatives when a major family dysfunction has occurred so parents do their best to result in a good outcome but the steps to take this action are often very complicated. For example, routines must stay the same, parents have to reinstate their child’s trust in them, and parents must learn to balance schedules including the two different households. Also, children frequently need reassurance from parents that they are still lovingly connected through that child. When parents approach this decision to their children, many scenarios of the worst run through a child’s head. These worries most oftenly result in a regressive way.
Divorce causes children to feel alone and feel that everything is suddenly out of place. They also tend to think that they are the only ones left to pick up the pieces. Therefore, they believe that they have caused the conflict between their parents and they put themselves at fault. Witnessing the loss of love between parents creates many challenges and obstacles to get through in life especially more than the normal tendencies other children go through. No matter what age a child is when their parents divorce the results could be catastrophic. Unfortunately, in many cases parents must fight over custody of their children. Custody is the legal right and the responsibility to make the most important decisions for a child (Bloem 2010). These decisions include medical care and insurance, education, and the place of living.
McKinley Irvin writing in 2012 for Mckinley Irvin Family Law, reports that about 42-45% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages end in divorce and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. Generally, children are involved in six out of ten divorces. This means that thousands and thousands of children face complications like separation anxiety, nightmares, bed-wetting, whining, clinging, and tantrums. These children are also very likely to have more health problems than a child with two parents in the home. Sometimes a broken home does not make for a stronger child but for a child who has more trouble with the simple tasks used every single day.During a divorce a child will feel all types of emotions including fear, neglect, sadness, and anger towards their parents for not being able to work through their problems. Adjusting to these difficulties can be an extreme challenge but they are made to look easy to the outside world. Everything our society knows about babies and children suddenly gets tossed out of the window when it comes to children of divorce. Robin Wright once said, “Divorce in and out of itself, and with children, is devastating” (2014).
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