Divorce and Its Impact on Children

Essay by forever32College, UndergraduateC+, March 2004

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"Over 60 percent of couples seeking a divorce have children still living at home" (Landers). Many of those children suddenly were filled with all new feelings of fear of abandonment, guilt, and sadness. Such emotions are normal for children to have. "Children may feel angry or frightened...they may feel guilty and imagine that they 'caused' the problem," (Tips for divorcing parents). Typically, divorce is difficult for everyone involved, yet its greatest victims are the children. As parents, many successful ways are available to help the children adjust to the up-coming changes before, during, and after the divorce is final.

As the divorce process begins both parents must be up front and honest with their children. Most likely the news will come as a shock to the children. However, parents should stress to their children that "the divorce is not [their] fault and that it's not [their] responsibility to fix it," (Harrar 53).

Most children automatically feel guilty for what is happening between their parents. Immediately, children may think, "its all my fault! I have to do something!" However, the responsibility of the parents in this stage of the divorce relies heavily on assuring their children that the decision was made solely between mom and dad. "Tell your children two important things: 'Parents never divorce their children' and 'I'll always be here for you,'" (Harrar 53). Furthermore, children will benefit more if they are forewarned about the divorce. At first children may be extremely confused and unwilling to talk, but given time they are sure to have many questions they need their parents to answer. "Whether or not your children say it or show it, you can be sure they are deeply affected by the divorce and the struggles around it," (Landers). Children, during this stage of the divorce,