Divorce catches kids in the middle By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Divorce is a highly emotional topic. When children are involved, the consequences are far more dramatic. And not surprisingly, so are our opinions. I know many people sincerely believe that no divorce is a good divorce. They argue that children are always harmed by the physical and emotional separation of their parents. Therefore, parents should – for the sake of the kids – just stick it out. They should not consider divorce until the children are grown. This is a particularly prevalent view for many adult children of divorce. Too often they have experienced the dramatic life changes that come with divorce. Many feel permanently scarred as a result. That response is certainly understandable. But it’s not the final word on this subject. I have another perspective. It’s based on the experience of being raised in
By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC Anger-Conflict Programs for Co-Parenting & Other Life Challenges We all know divorce is tough on families, especially when children are involved. In most cases, the older the children, the more complex the reaction and more difficult the adaptation. This includes adult children, as well. Adult children have a longer history in the former family unit, regardless of how healthy or toxic it has been. Perhaps they remember better times when Mom and Dad interacted with them and each other with more joy and harmony. Even if there were no good times to look back upon, adult and older children were accustomed to the existing family dynamic, knew their place in the structure, and felt a sense of comfort in “what is.” Resisting change is a natural part of being human. For adult children of divorce that resistance is compounded by a tendency
Is it divorce or parental discord that most damages children? Answers are finally coming in! A recent article by marriage and family therapist Ruth Bettelheim has much to say on this topic that is both relevant and, quite surprising for many. That’s because she refutes common misconceptions about divorce and addresses the real issues of concern. According to Bettelheim, “Studies conducted in the past 20 years have shown that on all meaningful measures of success -- social, economic, intellectual and psychological -- most adult children from divorced families are no worse off than their peers whose parents remained married.” Researchers have found two explanations for this, notes Bettelheim. “Children who have to cope with their parents’ separation and post-divorce lives often grow resilient, self-reliant, adaptable and independent. And children benefit from escaping the high-conflict environment of a rocky marriage. After their parents’ separation, as conflicts fade, children recover.” There is
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