Is Divorce Harmful or Helpful?

Throughout several studies, the children going through the divorce is always the common factor in what effects it can have in dividing a family. Some studies may show that it can damage children and their morals, effecting them all the way up until they are at the point where marriage and children may be questionable due to their family’s past experience with separation. Other studies have found that divorce is better for children in the long run rather than living in a hostile environment with parents who no longer love each other. These children may end up perfectly fine, or may have some challenges to face when they mature. Dr. Jann Gumbiner talks about how many children that grow up in a divorced home struggle when they are older making their own decisions. She states, “Children, even intelligent ones or older ones, often think it is their fault. There is a lot of self blame (Gumbiner 1). This is her main argument to why no divorce could ever end up positively, due to it’s effect on children. She also adds in some well respected emotion because she comes from a divorced family and she has personal struggles of her own. Gumbiner is certain these struggles can be applied to so many children since their parents’ marriages ended. Similarly, Robert Emery talks about how divorce can be stressful on children and cause necessary problems in the future. He states, “Troubled children are particularly likely to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations” (Emery 1). This leads us to believe that divorce will cause major issues in the personality of the child and their development process, which is a much bigger issue than just the stress it could cause them. On the other hand, some professionals believe that divorce is the better option for some families and their children involved. Brette Sember, a divorce attorney and mediator, explores the idea of how divorce could be beneficial to a child’s life instead of living with dysfunctional parents. She makes a good point saying, “While there is no question that divorce is hard for kids, it is a far cry better than raising your children in a violent, abusive, angry, or deeply resentful marriage” (Sember 1). This takes you down the opposite road, seeing what it would be like if a couple did keep their kids in a family where every day they are exposed to the exact opposite of love. This can surround the child with non-stop hatred while living in a hostile environment, leaving them with a negative childhood experience all around. Supporting this, Novack Law offices has an article published stating, “It can be very upsetting for children to feel that they need to choose between the two feuding parents they love” (Novack 1). It is interesting to see how the lawyers and medical professionals differ in how they word why it can be a positive thing for children to go through divorce. It seems like a common thing to consider the negative emotions during this time, but the positives could very well out weigh the negatives while a divorce is proceeding. Both sides have a great point in whether or not divorce could be positive or negative for children; I believe I agree with the side supporting that divorce is negative only due to personal experience. My parents divorced when I was six, so I didn’t have to go through any major fights growing up, and it was never really a hostile environment; it was just a tough atmosphere growing up in separate households and juggling activities and academics while dealing with split parents. Based on research, I believe there is more negative outcomes rather than positive, especially when it comes to how a child will grow up with split parents. Keeping grades up and maintaining well mental health as a child is stressful enough, and I agree that it would only put more pressure on children attempting to do this with divorced parents.

“3 Reasons a Thoughtful Divorce Can Be Better for Kids Than an Unhappy Marriage.” 3 Reasons Why Divorce Can Be Good for Kids | Novack Law Offices, http://www.novacklawoffices.com/blog/3-reasons-why-divorce-can-be-good-for-kids.

Sember, Brette. “Why a Good Divorce Is Better Than a Bad Marriage for Kids.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 24 Mar. 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brette-sember/why-a-good-divorce-is-better-than-a-bad-marriage-for-kids_b_6925236.html.

Emery, Robert E. “How Divorce Affects Children.” Emery about Children and Divorce, emeryondivorce.com/how_divorce_affects_children.php.

Gumbiner, Jann. “Divorce Hurts Children, Even Grown Ones.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 31 Oct. 2011, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201110/divorce-hurts-children-even-grown-ones.

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