The Effects of Divorce on Children

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When getting married most of the time you don’t think the relationship will end with a divorce. You think you’re going to be with that person till the day you die. According to American Statistics, the divorce rate for first-time marriages is around 41 percent, 60 percent for second marriages, and 73 percent for third marriages. Couples with children, however, have a lower divorce rate than couples without children. Even though the divorce rate is low, there are still some who get divorced even with children. Parents sometimes fail to realize how divorce will affect their children.

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Younger children often don’t understand why their parents aren’t together anymore. They just know they now move between two homes. Young children now must live their lives with the daily absence of one parent. Something that parents fail to realize is that when divorcing their spouse, they’re disrupting the trust that their child must have to depend on them. When that trust breaks the child must then adjust to moving between two different households.

Children in elementary and middle school often fear that the divorce was their fault. They may become emotionally distracted. Today, most kids and preteens don’t talk about how they’re feeling which isn’t a good thing. This can lead to a child being unmotivated in school which can then lead to some behavioral problems at school. Most of the time children will act out to get their parent's attention. This could then just lead to the child getting in trouble with their parents rather than the parents figuring out what’s wrong with their child. It has been proven that “Poor academic performance is an effect of divorce or separation in families” (Clemens and Oelke and Emeke)

Teenagers seem to be the ones who take divorce the hardest. The majority of the time teenagers get angry at their parents because they don’t want anything to change. Divorce can cause some teenagers to be angry and even resent one of their parents. Sometimes they can end up resenting both. Just like elementary and middle school children teenagers tend to have behavioral and emotional problems. This then leads to teenagers having problems in school and a chance of a drop in their grades and attendance. Teenagers with divorced parents have more of a chance to drop out of high school and some don’t go to college. “A child's first educational experiences are centered in the homes; his ideas, attitudes, and general pattern behavior are as a result in childhood rearing”. (Adebusuyi, Jane, Roli)

Overall, divorce has many effects on children, but the one thing divorce does is teaching children how to live without having both parents in the house. When children grow up in a divorced home, they don’t want their future children to go through the same thing. They’ll do whatever it takes so their future kids can have a better life than they had. As for me, I’ve learned that sometimes divorce is what’s best for the parents and the safety and wellbeing of the children. Although I would’ve loved for my parents to stay together I’m grateful they did divorce. If they wouldn’t have then who knows all the bad stuff that could’ve happened.

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