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July 6, 2010

Effects of Divorce on Children Essay

In today’s society, divorce has become a norm in our lives. Married couples today are getting a divorce due to many different reasons, either because of conflicts in the marriage, lost of romantic feelings, a spouse committing an affair, and other type of marriage problems. Most of these divorced couples have children that are very young and due to their age, have no idea on how to deal with an event like a divorce. These children will have to learn to deal with their parent’s divorce at such a young age, affecting them in a positive or negative way. After interviewing two sisters, who recently live through their parents’ divorce, and reading studies from mediator John W. Reiman, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dallas Morning News’, Karen Patterson, that proves children may positively deal with the consequences of their parent’s divorce; however, the majority of children who see the process of divorce, can experience some long term negative effects.

The two sisters I have interviewed may be good examples to support the opposition. To the sisters, the divorce was for the most part, a positive event that happened in their lives. I asked them how they felt about the divorce. The young ladies stated that after the divorce, they were both happier because their parents did not fight in the house anymore. They laughed saying, “our mother found a better husband to treat her right and we like him a lot.” One of the sisters also grew in a “better relationship” with their father. They both love living with their mom better than living with their dad. They saw their mother happier which made them happy. They found a step dad that provided for all their financial needs. They again laugh saying, “our step dad would get us anything we need, not like our dad.” One of the sisters stated how she and her mother became closer than ever before. They both agreed with their parent’s divorce because they saw that everyone became much happier and most importantly to them, they saw their mother happier. Although these two ladies were affected by the divorce in a positive way, they too went through many hardships that they had to persevere through during and after the divorce, and they are not the only ones.

After interviewing the sisters and reading studies from John W. Reiman, American Academy of Pediatrics, a news article by Karen Patterson, proves that the majority of children who have gone through a divorce are affected in negative ways. There studies have proven that the children are affected psychologically and socially. These children would begin to lose self-esteem due to the lack of relationships with both parents. According to Patterson, “they suffer and they are more likely to have problems.” The Academy of Pediatrics states that children may become more stressed and suffer more anxiety than normal children with both parents. Children may start to blame themselves for the divorce. They may start feeling alone and abandoned. The children may become harder to control. They can become angrier and easily irritated after a divorce. For example, one of the sisters said, “my sister would act in a more harsh and callous way towards me, our mother, our dad and that she would easily get angry than before.” The sisters both stated that it was harder for them to trust anyone because the fear of being abandoned again. Many children would receive less financial money for college after divorce of their parents. Statistics show about “$1800 less per year…with their mother and $1000 less per year…with their father,” adding on to the stress and tension of college students by paying for their own education without help from both parents (Patterson).

Children’s relationships with their friends and relatives may become damaged. The child may start to show favoritism towards one of the parents. The two sisters proved this by saying how they enjoy living with their mother more than their father. They also said how they really did not like being around their dad because he was weird to be around with. The divorce can also cause an unhappy environment for the children. The children may not like the person that their mom or dad has chosen to be with. This can cause conflicts between stepparents, parents, and children. Children would also have the mental problem of choosing which parent to live with. This can cause a child to be confused and stressed because of the love the child has for both parents. The child may look towards other things or relationships to ensure the trust that they were deprived from. For example, children may start looking towards gangs as their family that will never separate. They may start doing drugs to relieve them of the stress they have gone through with their parents divorce.

Divorce can also cause children to look at marriage as being negative rather than positive. Some children may have problems with future relationship with the different sex due to the example they receive from their own parents. Male children may become aggressive and abusive towards their spouse because of the environment they lived in. Female children may not deal with the abuse of their spouse well because of the way they saw their mother deal with the abuse in the household. According to the research of these people and from the experience that the two sisters have gone through proves that the majority of children are affected in a negative way after a divorce.

If the future proves the divorce worked out in the end, then divorce may be considered a positive outcome. The two sisters prove this by experiencing the benefits they receive after their parents divorce. They saw their mother become happier and healthier. They found a step dad that provided more for them than their dad. They also had a better environment to live in. However, these sisters, along with the researchers who study the affects of divorce on children, have proven that the majority of children are greatly affected more in a negative way. And researchers have proven that divorce can have long lasting affects on these children. Divorce will never be considered a positive solution, nor will children ever be not affected by it in a negative way. Before couples get divorce, they should consider their children first and how it will affect them. Divorce may be the door for an easy way out for parents, but it is the open door to calamity inside the children’s psychological and social health.

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