Many years ago, the myth began to circulate that if parents are unhappy, the kids are unhappy, too. So divorce could help both parent and child. "What's good for mom or dad is good for the children," it was assumed. (1). But we now have an enormous amount of research on divorce and children, all pointing to the truth: Kids suffer when moms and dads split up. Divorce introduces a massive change in any child. When parents decide to divorce or separate, their child or children are faced with multiple stressors. Just knowing that things are going to be different after a divorce, but not knowing exactly how can be frightening or cause fears for most children. (2) Children from divorced families have to learn to cope with the many changes in their family. Divorce shakes a young child’s trust and dependency in parents whom now behave in an undependable way. The child can think many different things like, “Who will take care of me?” “If my parents can lose love for each other, can they lose love for me?” “With one parent moving out, what if I lose the other too?” Children depend on the three R’s. Routines, Rituals, and Reassurance. (2) Divorce divides the family unit into two different parts between which the child must learn to transit back and forth, never being able be with one parent without having to be apart from the other. This takes away the routines, rituals, and reassurance. It makes the child feel insecurity, and instability. Children can suffer from divorce in many different ways. Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school. Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile. Because the custodial parent's income drops substantially after a divorce, children in divorced homes are almost five times more likely to live in poverty than are children with married parents. (3) Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse than are those from intact families. The myth that if the parents are happy the child will be happy is very false.
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