Divorce has only become socially acceptable within the past few decades. Prior to that, divorcing couples were often looked down upon and judged by our society. Divorced families were considered to be broken families, with the children suffering the most. While there have been studies done that show children benefit from growing up in a household with both parents present, there are some circumstances where this can actually be detrimental to a child.
In an article published to Scientific American, evidence is given that shows some children can actually benefit from their parents divorcing. A stressful or loveless marriage can take a significant toll on a couple, which can lead to depression, alcoholism, and other serious conditions. Sometimes, there is so much energy being put into the doomed marriage that very little is left over for the kids. Apprehension concerning proceeding with divorce is common among couples with children; however, there are no scientific findings that show long term side effects in most children of divorce. Kids are resilient and most children tend to have an easier time rebounding from big life events, such as the separation of their parents. In fact, in 2001, Paul R. Amato, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, studied literature and compared children with divorced parents, to those whose parents were still married. Over the course of years, investigators examined factors such as behavior or emotional problems, relationships with others, academic achievement and delinquency. The investigators discovered that there were very miniscule differences between the groups of children when it came to these factors. This proved that most children are able to handle and cope with divorce easily.
There will always be a chance that children will grow up and have difficulty forming relationships with adults, and while this may be contributed to divorce, there is no solid evidence that those who come from divorced families will have a greater amount of trouble than those whose parents remained married throughout their adolescence and teenage years. Other side effects that a child may carry with them into adulthood include depression or poor self-worth. But, once again, there are other contributing factors that can lead to a child suffering from these symptoms, and one should not blame them solely on divorce.
If you're considering a divorce and are worried about the effect it will have on your children, there are some precautions you can take in an attempt to help them adjust without much issue. To limit the amount of stress on the child, do not argue with your spouse in front of them. Better yet, try to remain civil towards each other because children can easily pick up on feelings of tension or hostility. Put on a brave face, and your child will feel safe, even in the midst of a divorce. It is important for a child to feel safe and protected, and this can be done by providing a loving home and support system.
For more information on divorces in New York State, especially those involving children, contact Brian D. Perskin and Associates.