Friday, March 26, 2010

The Consequences of Divorce on Our Children

How utterly selfish is this process we as a society have allowed to flourish.  How ironic that in an age when parents are so overprotective of their children that they allow such destruction of their emotional well being just to satisfy their own lusts and immaturity.

My parents enjoyed 61 years of marriage ending with my father's passing a year ago.  I have no ability to know either of their hearts, but as far as I know, their was never any serious issue of the marriage vows being violated.  However, there was a time when my siblings and I were worried that there was such a danger.  And we were very, very anxious about the circumstances.

Kids need the security of knowing that their parents are BOTH going to be there for them.  When there is even an unsubstantiated fear about that security being interrupted, it plays havoc on their emotions.  Merely seeing a divorce play out in the family of a family member or friend is all that is needed to create those doubts.  But statements or actions within the home can drive the insecurity to levels that create emotional trauma.  That trauma can lead to the child taking actions to relieve the stress or lower the pain.

When there is an actual leaving by one parent, then the potential for consequences is even greater.  There are the obvious questions about fault.  "What did I do wrong that caused Mommy to leave?"  There are issues of being left by the other parent.  And, of course all the issues around any loss such as anger, mourning, avoidance of future pain, and so on.

So in a time when we are putting helmets on our kids for skateboarding, carefully selecting the best schools, worried about the best methods of parenting, and involved in endless discussions about this food or that, this video game or that movie, how is it that we individually or as a society are so glib about divorce.

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