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The Effects Of Divorce On Children

Updated on July 24, 2015
Divorce is like a funeral for a child because the life they knew no longer exists
Divorce is like a funeral for a child because the life they knew no longer exists | Source

The Parent's Divorce Will Never Be Easy

I see the movies these days in which they portray children being fine with the idea that their parents got divorced and maybe started dating someone else, or even marry that new person, but in real life no child is ever OK with the thought that the parents split up.

When they decide to take this step this doesn't only affect or implicates the two adults but also the children they have together. People are not supposed to sacrifice their happiness just to keep the family together when things obviously don't work anymore, but every parent that takes this decision should always remember that the children will see this as an end, like assisting a funeral. This is how they perceive things.

Don't think that if your child is all grown up will understand your decision and accept it easier
Don't think that if your child is all grown up will understand your decision and accept it easier | Source

It Doesn't Matter The Age Of The Child - The Pain Is The Same

Many people believe that if their children are all grown up and maybe with families or disappointments of their own, they will relate better to the situation and understand their parents' decision to separate.

That can't be further from the truth unfortunately. It doesn't matter at all if the child is three years old or thirty years old, the pain and sufferance of the parents divorce feels the same at any age.

A dear friend of mine told me she remembers so vividly the day when her parents told her they don't get along anymore and they think of separating. She felt like the ground ran from underneath her feet and it was like she was watching herself from outside her body. It didn't feel real, it felt like a vivid dream that you just want to wake up from.

She saw her parents kissing, hugging, laughing and helping each other all her life and now all that was gone. It felt like she was robbed of all those memories and experience because all she could see now was them taking different roads.

She had been through so many feeling since finding out. She was in denial, being convinced that it was just a phase they are going through, she tried to get them back together, thinking that all they need is a push, someone to remind them of how happy they were, she was so angry at them for not trying harder because she was feeling like they gave up without even fighting, and at some point she just didn't want to speak to either of them.

She understood that their future isn't together anymore and that they can no longer find happiness together, but no matter how well she would understand it she could never get used to the idea.

Do all you can do before saying "enough"
Do all you can do before saying "enough" | Source

What Should Parents Do?

Stay together would be a solution. I know, people can't be forced to have an unhappy life when all they want is to feel free again, to get out of the cage they feel like they are locked in.

I think the best thing that parents can do is to try to make things work. They loved each other before, this is why they got married, so why not try everything you possibly can before calling it a quit? I think this is the best that can be done for any child and for them, as a couple. At least this way you can say you have actually tried and things really can't be fixed anymore. But, do try, in the true sense of the word, set aside all your unhappiness and disagreements and all the bad blood that was between you and try to work things out.

If the result is the same and the two of you still want to divorce than make sure you never bad mouth one another to your children. They only need to know you can't be happy together anymore and that you took this decision together, that it is not their fault (the children's) in any way and your problems don't implicate them in anyway, and that you will always love them as well as each other even if you are not together anymore.

You need to let them see a normal attitude even if you live in separate houses. The fact that the parents continue to be nice to each other after divorce will help the child accept the new situation and adjust fast and easier to it.

Help your child adjust to the new life by accepting your new life
Help your child adjust to the new life by accepting your new life | Source

What If Children Revolt?

That is a great possibility especially if the children are young and a new love interest appears in one of the parent's life. If things happen to fast, the new love comes shortly after their divorce or separation, the child will perceive this new person as being the one that came between its parents.

The child sees the new person as an ending. Until that person appears there are chances for the parents to get back together, but when the third person comes into place that is the end. That is the enemy from which fault its parents will never get back together.

The only way to make the newcomer to be accepted is to be introduced to the child while both parents are present. If, for example the dad comes home with a new woman, he should introduce it alongside the child's mother and the mother should explain to the child that she is OK with this and she accepts the new woman in dad's life. The same should happen if the mother brings home a new man, dad should accept it and talk to the child.

How one parent sees the new love interest of the other parent is exactly how the child will see that person. If the mother talks bad about the new woman and treats her bad this is how the child will do as well.

Show the child that you can be a happy family no matter how much your situation changes. Listen to what your child has to say, to what disturbs them, the fears they have, and anything they might want to tell you. Acknowledge their feelings. This will make the transition easier.

Remember that it doesn't matter what age the child is, the feeling of pain and lost will be the same. My friend was 25 years old when she found out about her parents and she was devastated. I have another friend who was 23 when her parents divorced and she still doesn't speak to her father because he was the one who found someone new and this is why the marriage ended. That was five years ago.

If your child asks you to get a divorce you should know the child was badly affected by your problems
If your child asks you to get a divorce you should know the child was badly affected by your problems | Source

When Children Ask Their Parents To Get A Divorce

This happens even if you might find it hard to believe. When one of the parent makes a huge mistake and the child finds out and sees how much it hurts the other parent that is when the child might suggest a divorce.

When the two parents treat each other bad and they always hurt one another, either verbally or physically, at some point the child will tell them to get a divorce and live in separate places.

If your child is asking you to do this, then you should know it has been affected really hard by your problems. That is when you take action, you divorce and you do your best to support your child in recovering from your fights.

Maybe you are unhappy or unsatisfied with your life when you decide to divorce, but remember that your child doesn't see that, so consider their feelings when taking this step.


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    • florypaula profile image

      Paula 2 years ago

      I think this became somewhat a world wide problem, not only in America. When a country reaches a certain level of development they not only take the good stuffs that come with it, but also the bad stuffs. Media and movies have a great involvement in this, in my opinion because they teach people to just look for someone else when things go south in stead of trying to work things out. My opinion.

      Thank you for reading and commenting emge.

      Have a nice day.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Divorce does affect children, but I find the problem acute in America because of the high divorce rate. This again is because of a troubled society which has lost its way.

    • florypaula profile image

      Paula 2 years ago

      Thank you James. I am happy you liked it.

      I know a lot of people who either got divorced or they are in separation phase. It is always so hard on the children and parents sometimes seem to forget to prepare them.

      Unfortunately many stop fighting for their families and when the slightest problem came along their reaction is to run in the opposite direction.

      You are not asking for a lot, you are asking for how things should actually be. Maybe at some point we will get there, through our children, teaching them as best as we can and hoping they will not only understand and apply it, but also pass it along to their children.

      Have a nice day :)

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 2 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Excellent hub, Florypaula. My parents hugged and kissed in front of me and my sisters always. I was lucky.

      One sister married too early; they had five children together, then got divorced. One of their daughters got divorced, and one of that daughter's sons got divorced. Another of my sister's daughters had a child but didn't get married.

      My other sister has been happily married over 50 years. Their one daughter had three children with her husband who she should never have married, and then got divorced. (She remains now alone.)

      I could go on and on.

      It's a cycle that will never end until parents raise their children to first have respect for themselves and not "give in" to a member of the opposite sex just because they don't want to be alone.

      I know. I'm asking for a lot.