Week 6 Position Paper
Does Divorce Of Parents Harm Their Children????
The Honeymoon is over and things are not what you had hoped. Years after trying to make it work, you and your spouse realize you are just better apart. Going your separate ways would be the easy way out, but there are children involved. Is this going to help you and hurt them? In this paper I am going to explore the many different aspects and opinions of this question. No: Robert Emery, PhD, who wrote, The Truth about Children and Divorce, says the truth is somewhere in the middle. He goes on to say that, in cases where the parents do argue often, divorce can actually be a relief to the children because they no longer have to live with all the tension they had experienced. Yes: 1.Judith S. Wallerstein, from “Growing up in the divorced family” Clinical Social Work Journal (Winter 2005). Clinical psychologist Judith Wallerstein argues not only that children are harmed when their parents’ divorce but also that these negative side effects continue into their adult lives. Wallerstein claims that adolescents of divorce families often become involved with drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity earlier than adolescents of intact families. And once they are adults, she claims that these children suffer from acute anxiety when attempting to love and form permanent relationships. My position on the subject is that divorce is harmful to children. I feel that the outcome of the effects may vary depending on the different situations. But overall, whether it is in the long run or immediately afterward, divorce will have some negative effect on that child or children. I feel this way because I grew up in a two parent home and think that I am a better person compared to what I would have been if my father and mother had raised me separately. Were they always happy, no, but they did provide an example to me that marriage will not always be, but dedication and sacrifice are key. My husband is a child of divorced parents. His father left the home at the age of 3, both his parents are since remarried, but he still feels it had a negative effect on him, even though he has a close relationship with both parents. He feels though he lacked stability. While divorce is typically not encouraged or applauded in the marriages of most cultures, subtle and blatant differences in the acceptability of divorce vary from culture to culture. While some cultures honor and respect the individuality and independence of those bound in a marital union, others more strongly promote maintaining the structure of the family unit. In the Hispanic culture, children are taught at a young age to value family and likewise marriage above all else, even their own individual well-being. Since the value of family is placed over the value of self, divorce is not as acceptable as it is in other cultures and can lead to becoming an outcast or in the least, being looked upon with disapproval or scorn. Disrupting the family unit is generally not widely accepted. African American households are less likely to enter the bond of marriage than that of Caucasian or Hispanic households, and likewise, divorce is generally much more acceptable within this culture. According to BGSU.edu, African American households have lower expectations for marital life and, likewise, higher and more socially acceptable divorce rates. Economic instability is seen as a strong catalyst for prompting divorce in African American households. The cultural independence of women in African American culture can also lead to higher divorce numbers, as the women in the relationships don't view themselves as reliant on the man. Caucasian couples are similar to the marital values of Hispanic households. A high value of marriage and the family unit is fostered in Caucasian children of a young age. Traditional values also dictate that the woman is reliant on the man, in contrast to the African American culture, making it more socially unacceptable for a woman to leave the marriage. While modern values and opinions have had an impact on this viewpoint, it still remains a dominant feeling and viewpoint towards Caucasian unions. Each year, over 1 million American children suffer the divorce of their parents; moreover, half of the children born this year to parents who are married will see their parents’ divorce before they turn 18. In Switzerland a divorce takes 2-4 years until it’s definitely over. After this time you are broke, because child support is also required. So, I think the process is harder in other countries so they tend to not divorce as much. In America you can get a divorce online. In America people divorce just to remarry as many as three times. Unfortunately, our children see as well as are victimized by and therefore think it is okay. Critical Literacy can be applied to this situation by pointing out how important it is that our children are not tainted by divorce. The children are our future and we need to ensure that this upcoming generation is prepared and in a state of good well-being and not negatively affected by our decisions as parents. The different positions on the controversy are yes does divorce does harm children and no, it is not divorce, it is the fighting among parents that is harmful and divorce is the answer to stop the fighting. Both sides of the argument have a point and make sense. If parents stay together and fight, the child is a constant witness to conflict and eventually picks this up as a way of life. The child may become violent in school years or feel this is how a marriage should be. In this case, parents should separate and allow the child to see them both happy. On the other hand, every couple argues, If we follow what Wallerstein says then we disagree behind closed doors, so we as adults solve problems but still raise our children together in the same home as a married couple. Civic literacy in this situation stresses the importance of what we as a people need to do help fix this problem.2. Restoring the importance of marriage to society and the welfare of children will require politicians and civic leaders to make this one of their most important tasks. It also will require a modest commitment of resources to pro-marriage programs. Fiscal conservatives should realize that federal and state governments spend $150 billion per year to subsidize and sustain single-parent families. If you compare only $150 million is spent to strengthen marriage. For every $1,000 spent to deal with the effects of Family disintegration, only $1 is spent to prevent that disintegration. Refocusing funds to preserve marriage by reducing divorce and illegitimacy will be good for children and society. Among its efforts, the federal government should: Establish, by resolution, a national goal of reducing divorce among families with children by one-third over the next decade. Establish pro-marriage demonstration programs by diverting sufficient funds from existing federal social programs into programs that provide training in marriage skills. Mandate that surplus welfare funds be used to strengthen marriages and slow the increase in Family disintegration. Rebuild the federal-state system for gathering statistics on marriage and divorce, which ended in 1993. Without such data, the nation cannot assess the true impact of divorce on the Family, the schools, the community, and the taxpayer. Create a public health campaign to inform Americans of the risks associated with divorce and of the long-term benefits of marriage. Give a one-time tax credit to always-married couples when their youngest children reach 18. This small reward for committing one's marriage to nurturing the next generation into adulthood would help to offset the current marriage penalty in the tax code. State laws govern marriage. Among their efforts, the states should: Establish a goal to reduce the divorce rate among parents with children by one-third over the next decade and establish pro-marriage education and mentoring programs to teach couples how to develop skills to handle conflict and enhance the marital relationship. Require married couples with minor children to complete divorce education and a mediated co-partnering plan before filing for divorce. Promote community-wide marriage programs for couples planning to get married and marriage-mentoring programs for couples in troubled marriages. End "no-fault" divorce for parents with children under age 18, requiring them to prove that grave harm will be visited upon the children by having the marriage continue. Make the Covenant marriage option available to engaged couples as a way to bind them to a marriage contract that lengthens the process for obtaining of a divorce by two years.
Science literacy- Science is contributing to this controversy by performing studies to determine whether divorce is actually harmful or not. On a long-term study of up to 25 years later, it was shown that when the parents first got divorced, the children reported feeling lonely, ashamed, or terrified of abandonment. In teens, half of the children became involved in alcohol and drugs. In their twenties and thirties, the women in the study had less education, decreased socio-economic status and difficulty with long-term relationships. There is much controversy about how divorce affects children. Many studies show that, to a child, divorce is equivalent to the pain of the death of the parent. There is a great loss, with grief and sadness, and confusion for the children. Children most always believe that they are the cause of the divorce. Studies regarding teenage and adult females, parental divorce has been associated with lower self-esteem, promiscuity and greater delinquent behaviors, as well as, difficulty maintaining long-term relationships. Girls experience the emotional loss of the father directly and personally. No exact answer of truth has been presented, but studies have been tested for over 30 years now and they are still definite answer. The Values literacy among this topic in my opinion is by far the most important. I believe that your parents are your greatest examples in life. What they teach a child is important will be important. If a couple does decide to get a divorce, the likelihood of their child being harmed by it is less if they teach them otherwise. If parent’s research what statistics say will take place with a divorced child and provide that example and instill those positive values then that is what that child will know and believe. As opposed to thinking it’s okay to be depressed or being unfaithful in a marriage. I think that if you make divorce a big deal for children then it will be, children feed off of parent’s emotion. In conclusion, does divorce harm children? Many people feel differently on the subject. Some say yes, some say no, and all of it is a matter opinion. No right or wrong answer can be given when it comes to people because everyone is different. Every situation is truly unique and a myriad of factors need to be weighed such as timing, age of your children, safety for you and your children, financial ability to split up as well as other resources on hand. Some children will be driven to do better as a result and some will fall through the cracks and be traumatized as a result. Fact is, it up to the parents to try to be as civil as possible and make life as normal as possible for their kid. We all play a part big and small, from the parents to the teachers, to the government, to the family counselor. How will you contribute to the efforts of divorce? We must make divorce not harmful or if it has been build this child, teen or adult up so that it does not affect anyone else they love or come into contact with. Sources: 2. The Effects of Divorce on America by Patrick Fagan, Ph.D. and Robert Rector. June 5, 2000. 1. Judith Wallerstein, The Legacy of Divorce.