“Sticking it out for the kids” Can Be Worse for Children Than Divorce
Divorce is holistically devastating in that it changes the future of everyone involved; this includes children.
However, while change can be frightening and uncomfortable at first, there are many reasons why it could be much, much better for parents to divorce rather than to stay together primarily for their kids.
1. Children can often tell – Kids are smart and incredibly empathetic, especially toward people they have known since birth. Some kids may feel like it is their fault if their parents get divorced, but if their parents stay together “for the kids,” it will be hard for them to convince themselves that they were not at fault for their parents’ unhappiness. The guilt involved in that situation is just as damaging.
2. The fighting continues – Just because two parents agree to stay together for the children does not mean that they suddenly agree on the issues that drove them to want to split up in the first place. There is still bitterness and feelings of entrapment, and those will permeate the household. Yes, there are many issues that can arise for children when divorce occurs, but there are just as many, if not more, they continue to live in a household full of negativity. If the parents can focus on being cordial and respectful to each other during and after the divorce, especially in front of the children, there is no reason why their kids should not feel supported, listened to, and loved during the whole process. For more information on how to help children during the divorce process, check out Elizabeth Bernstein’s article in the Wall Street Journal on “The Child-Focused Divorce”.
3. One unhappy household vs. two happier households – No one wants to think they are condemning their children to living in “a broken home.” The nuclear family has been a part of the cultural vision of America for generations. However, this is certainly not the only happy, healthy family structure. Zaren Healey White, in an article she wrote for the Washington Post, talks about how relieved she was after her parents split up. After they divorced, they each found someone else, someone that fit them better and more completely. “I now have four parents. And that’s awesome.”
4. Honesty and Communication — It can be difficult for children to understand that their parents are real people with faults who do not always know what the future holds. This can also be liberating. Love may not always be a fairy tale, but children learning that honesty and communication is more important than a façade of happiness is incredibly important for their future relationships. Knowing that their parents, the people that they love and admire, are happy and genuine with themselves AND their children can be incredibly reassuring.
For more legal information, please feel free to view our videos child custody and/or child support, just a couple of the many informational videos we offer on our DiPietro Family Law YouTube channel.
If you need assistance with your case, contact our experienced DiPietro Family Law Group attorneys today at (703) 370-5555 to schedule a consultation. We can provide compassionate, strategic help throughout the process and give you back peace of mind and the strength to rebound from your crisis.
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