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The essay is an in depth analysis of children dealing with divorce, the struggles, difficulties and emotions they under go are succinctly brought to light. By definition divorce means a legal ending of marriage between a man and a woman. Additionally, it has been thought that as dissolution of a union between man and a woman as a result of marriage through the judgment of a court via an act of legislature. There are normally two kinds of divorce, a vinculo matrimonii and a Mensa et thoro that dissolve and completely severs the union as a result of marriage and merely separating the partners involved respectively (Hughes par.2).
It has been argued that marriages that end by the two parties ending the union as a result of marriage do affect the entire family together with the pets. Those who are severely affected mostly are the children; this is with no regards to age or stages of development. On the same note, there are other children that are affected more by parents divorcing than others, nonetheless, the fact remains that all children are affected by divorce. It is worth to note that some underlying factors such as the gender of the child, age, maturity, closeness to parents, psychological health are attributes that dictates the severity of effects of divorce.
It also no doubt that the whole phenomenon is not easy for parents but since they are grown ups with a number of skills and knowledge to cope with the problems, they opt to take responsibility to ensure that their children are protected by making the whole issue a top priority. This is with the understanding that children are not fully prepared to counter the resultant of the parents separating. A study by Amato 25examining 13,000 children from preschool to young adult established that children from "divorced families are on "average" somewhat worse off than children who have lived in intact families". It also emerged that the children from a divorced background experienced more intricacies in school, extra behavior troubles, negative self perception, not getting along well with peers as well as difficulties in associating with their parents.
Effects of divorce to children
It is a fact that the emotional, struggles, difficulties and emotions experienced by children dealing with divorce can be either long-term or short term. Almost all the people agree that divorce cause a certain effect to the children at certain degree. These effects portray themselves differently with others being more conspicuous at early stage than others after separation. Some disappear with time while others emerge later having long time effects.
Various factors lead to negative effects towards children who feel abandoned and they feel that they have greater responsibilities as they are less cared for. The other factor that comes is non custodial parent. This is where the parent most likely the father disengages with time with their children after divorce both physically and emotionally. Father Child relationship is paramount for long development of the children failure to which the children experiences emotional frustrations and confusion in their life.
Gender in custodial parent pay a great role in determining the degree at which the impact of divorce has in the children. There are some evidence that shows that children tends to show great problems when they are under the custody of parents of opposite sex that when they are in parents of the same sex with them (Aro & Palosaari p.425). Thumb rule shows that the greater the magnitude of the conflict that the parents have between each other during the divorcing face, the greater the problem the children encounter.
Some of specific short-term affects those children experiences are anger. The child may experience difficulties in controlling his/her temper after divorce. They also have difficulties in controlling their sadness. They feel solemn due to what happened in their lives unable to contemplate what they are supposed to do. Most of the due to prolonged sadness and anger may develop depression. Others tend to be impulsive. After divorce the affected children are constantly in interpersonal conflict with each as they become non-compliant to many issues that may cause conflicts Furstenberg (Frank & Teitler p.181). They may experience economic hardship as they may receive low parental supervision. This may lead to dismal performance in their education in school.
The children are also susceptible to parental loss that may affect them psychologically. They may develop aggression and inconsistent discipline. They may get themselves negative sanctions to various things that may affect their social life. They may start acting out wherever they are supposed to participate in a certain activity. This is brought by developed low self esteem. They develop low self concept and increased dependency that may lead them to child labor.
When these short term effects are let to continue for along time without good invention they usher in the long term effects that may be so adverse in the children life. Some of the characteristics determine the longevity and the intensity of each problem that the child develops during parental divorce.
According to Wallerstein p.360 post divorce adjustment such as parental ability to fight out post divorce anger and conflict may help the child come over their difficulties faster before they can develop to long term effects. The other issue that prevents the children's effect to persist for a long time and therefore prevent them from graduating to the other stage is the ability of the custodian parents to resume their parenting role as early as possible. The ability of the custodian parent to maintain mutual relationship with the children helps them to overcome this effect before they become weak. It also helps the children to feel satisfied in their relationship with the parent. The children should be helped to find support systems and be helped to adapt to them as early as possible. The angry and depressive altitude of the child should be fought at early stage by the custodian parent with the right approach according to sex and age of the children.
Long term effects of divorce to children
Several researches reveal that there are some effects of divorce that are quite persistent despite the fact that a number of aspects are considered before the involved parties divorced. According to Amato 36 ". the long term consequences of parental divorce for adult attainment and quality of life may prove to be more serious than the short-term emotional and social problems in children".
As a result of sleeper effect, children are capable of recovering quickly from the effect of divorce especially with regard to short term effects. But an s a result of self denial, there are possibilities of feelings with regards to divorce re-emerging later in life. It has been established that most of the traumatic experiences at childhood for instance physical abuse or sexual assault/abuse are usually forgotten in the short while but later manifest themselves when one grows up. A study of children from a divorced background by (Wallenstein p.245) reported that there was persistence of anger towards parents who propelled divorced the desire to reconstitute the pre-divorced family. Additionally, children feel a strong feeling of sorrow regarding their parents.
It is worth noting that there are incidences that the children hold the opinion that their life is even much better since they have come out stronger and independent as a result of their parents divorcing. However, in their words, it was clear that they had some bitterness. This is attributed to having gone through poorer physical health (Crane par.4). On the same note they had persistent problem with; fear of betrayal, rejection and abandonment, low life satisfaction, anger and hostility, depression in early adulthood, increased level of anxiety in their late teenage years and a reduced psychological health.
In terms of social; being, individuals were poorly adapted to socializing resulting to decline in capabilities of creating, nurturing and maintaining a stable and supportive friendship and dates, high risk of divorcing in adulthood, engaging in sexual activities at a very early age, daughters from divorced families get married early, give birth out of wedlock and divorce, these children have no or very little trust on their partners, not fully committed and intimate (Amato & Keith p.49). Additionally, these group of children with regards to their parents, they are less affectionate to them, less or no contact at all and turn to be more conservative adopting a more traditional approach to marriage and family.
Helping children cope with divorce
Subsequent to arriving at the conclusion or verge of divorcing parents opt to take responsibilities to curb or at least minimize the negative consequences of their action to children. The first step is communicating the same to the children by telling them the truth, constantly reassure kids of parents' love, listening and reassuring to kids, parent should avoid blame game, work with the other partner for the betterment of the kids social, clearing up misunderstandings by setting records clear, being patient economic well being to mention but a few (Laumann p.677).
From the review of the issue of children of all walks of life are affected by divorce as they experience emotion, struggles and difficulties in coping with the phenomenon. A number or research has shown that these individual are averagely worse than their counterparts from intact families. It is evident that children do suffer from short-term and long term consequences. Children are in most cases pinned down by bitter memories of marital break ups, feel sad, and exhibit poor social behaviors. On the same note, parent prior to finalizing the divorce need to have measure in place to help minimize the serious long-term and short term consequences of divorce. This might include sharing the information with children, reassuring them of parents' love, avoiding blame game among others.