Effects of Divorce On Children and Parents

It's also reported that girls are more sensitive in the situation when their parents are going to divorce. This usually

Effects of Divorce On Children and Parents



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f the most harmful elements in a divorce is constant parental fighting. Other problems include one or both parents talking badly about the other or fighting over child support. Visitation or other issues leaves the children insecure and feeling in the middle. When parents use the children as messengers, instead of talking directly to each other, children feel pulled in two directions. Children don't want to give a message that is going to upset one parent, and they don't want to disobey the other parent by refusing to deliver the message. They also feel pulled in two directions when being interrogated by one parent after visiting the other parent.

Children suffer when they lose contact with the departing parent, which is usually the father. Fathers become less involved with their children due to fighting, limits on visitation, and generally not knowing what to do with the kids when they have them. Fathers generally have the children two weekends a month, during which they attempt to "entertain" them. Society has given men in the recent past a lesser role as parents, by treating their children as "guests" to be entertain each weekend, they begin to lose the fathering role even more. The fathers begin to feel the hassles involved with visitation are not worth their efforts.

During the first year following a divorce, mothers are less available to their children. The adults usually find themselves working more hours to support the family than before the divorce. Many mothers find that father after divorce, they are living below the poverty level. Children suffer when the mothers are more stressed, tired, or trying to find a new life for themselves. This decline in parental support usually corrects itself in a year. Another factor stressing children is the change in residence. Living with one parent and moving "back and forth" between the other parent can cause children to feel shuffled on vacations, holidays and weekends. Children are often caught in a "revolving door" of changing families, and being members in more than one household. This leaves the children without a real base of security.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) describes parents who have extreme feeling of animosity toward their ex-spouse. This is a malicious and wilful attempt to undermined and destroy the parent child relationship. The behaviour includes unjustified and exaggerated criticisms of the ex-spouse. P.A.S. also includes brainwashing, whether done on conscious and unconscious levels. Usually, children exposed to P.A.S. profess to hate one parent and will refuse contact with that parent very suddenly. They usually can't justify the hatred when questioned, or respond weakly or with language that is untypical for a child. Another syndrome is Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome (D.R.M.M.S.). This is even more severe than P.A.S., according to Gardner (1992). This is a syndrome that affects mothers more often than fathers, but in rare cases the father, too, can posses D.R.M.M.S characteristics. According to, three criteria must be met before making this diagnosis. First, the mother unjustifiably punishes her ex-spouse by attempting to alienated the children from the father. She often involves others in outrageous lies and malicious actions against the father, while engaging in continuous litigation's or threats of litigation's. A second diagnostic requirement is that the mother denies her children contact with the father by violating visitation, restricting phone calls, excluding the father from knowing about school activities and school functions. The third diagnostic requirement indicates that this is a repeating and continuing pattern, which includes vengeful acts toward the father, lying to the children and breaking the law, and feeling justified in doing these things.

It's also reported that girls are more sensitive in the situation when their parents are going to divorce. This usually effects their future greatly. Daughters from female-headed households are much more likely than daughters from two-parent families to themselves become single parents and to rely on welfare for support as adults. Living with a single mother at age 16 increases a daughter's risk of becoming a household head by 72 percent for whites and 100 percent for blacks. The contrast becomes even sharper if the comparison is between daughters continuously living in two-parent families with daughters living with an unmarried mother at any time between ages 12 and 16: 'Exposure to single motherhood at some point during adolescence increases the risk of a daughter's later becoming a household head by nearly 1 1/2 times for whites and by about 100 percent for blacks.' The public costs of this differential emerge in figures showing that a daughter loving in a single-parent household at any time during adolescence is far more likely (127 percent more likely among whites, 164 percent among blacks) to receive welfare benefits as an adult, compared to daughters from two-parent households. Researchers have known for some time that girls raised in a female-headed household are much more likely to become unwed teen mothers that are girls much raised in two parent families. In a major new study, Professor William Marsigilio of Oberlin College has documented a parallel pattern for unmarried teenage fathers. In a survey of more than 5,500 young American men, Dr. Marsigilio found that 'males who had not lived with two parents at age 14 were over represented in the subsample of teenage fathers. Only 17 percent of all young men surveyed lived in one-parent households at age 14; yet, among the boys who had fathered an illegitimate child as a teenager, almost 30 percent came from single-parent households. In other words, teen boys from one-parent households are almost twice as likely to father a child out of wedlock as teen boys from two-parent families.

So, it's quite evident, from the facts above, the problems connected with divorce are of vital importance nowadays and this process influences on the lives of children and their parents. But children are the main victims in this situation as they are not protected psychologically. Children don't have to suffer with life long scars of their parents divorce. Parents should always put bad feelings aside for the sake of the kids, because the children are part of both of you. Hopefully the children will grow up with a good relationship with both parents and will one day be able to acknowledge that their parents co-operated with each other because of their common love of their child.

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