Over one third of marriages end in divorce and many of these couples have children. With an increase in parents divorcing, many studies have been conducted about the effects on children showing they are less likely to perform well in schools and are more likely to have lower paid jobs. I believe that this isn’t always the case and that children affected by divorce can and do succeed.
Divorce is inevitably devastating for a child and can create low self-esteem, behavioural issues and a sense of loss. Children of divorcees are 55% more likely to develop health problems and are twice as likely to drop out of education. These statistics can be combatted and children from broken households can be just as successful if not more as people whose parents live together.
There have been many cases where children thrive due to the communication and commitment that co-parenting provides. Effective co-parenting can help a child of divorcees in their future life as they tend to be more adaptable and resilient. Although divorce is upsetting for a child as it is very difficult to process but co-parenting lessens the effect of the separation and doesn’t hinder the child’s life or it’s opportunities.
Parents’ splitting up creates two different households and lifestyles. Quite a few experts have suggested that this separation in lifestyle is the main reason why these children struggle to succeed. The breakup of family life tends to create mental health issues which often lead to behavioural issues.
The parents are often judged for these issues despite the fact that they aren’t necessarily caused by the parents themselves. The issues are a side effect of divorce and couples divorce for a reason. More often than not that reason is the wellbeing of their children. Sometimes parents don’t have a good relationship and that has an effect on children because they are surrounded with arguments. This means that the separation can create a better space for a child’s upbringing.
On the flip side, some parents refuse to communicate and continue to argue despite moving out. This defeats the object of divorce as the parents are still raising their child in a toxic environment which still distresses the children. These children are usually the ones who become involved in aggressive behaviours as they lash out at their peers.
Another factor that prevents children from separated families succeed is the financial situation. Material deprivation decreases the child’s chance of success and the financial situation changes dramatically after a divorce. This change in circumstances often enhances the issues that children of divorcees are more inclined to have.
Separation tends to make the parents guilty and can lead to over indulgence to compensate for the difficult time the child has had to endure. This causes pressure on both of the parents to provide their children with more however, one parent may have more resources than the other. This often creates the issues associated with inconsistency. About half of the children affected by divorce are left with a single parent. Single parents normally struggle to support their children financially, leading to even lower success rates and higher crime rates.
Single parents have to juggle the loss of their partner as well as helping their child cope with the loss of their other parent. This makes it really difficult for single parents and an awful lot of stress is added because of society’s view of single parents. Historically, there has been stigma around single parents as people often make comments about children needing a mother and a father. This is not the case, in my experience a child needs at least one loving parent in order to be happy and succeed.
Children of divorcees are said to lack certain interpersonal skills and they struggle with their mental health. However, this isn’t the same for everybody. There are many successful people who come from broken families such as Barack Obama, Whoopie Goldberg and Adele. All these people have done incredibly well and their parents’ divorce did not hold them back. Everybody has the capacity to succeed, regardless of their upbringing.
Article by Young Reporter Maddie Wainman
First appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 20th August 2019