Review of Literature
At present there are rising divorce rates everywhere in the developed world. It is accepted in most societies that ?where there is a marriage, there is a divorce.? Our society has a confused attitude towards divorce: accepting it as inevitable but at the same time, hankering after the religious ideal of ?till death due us part.? Even still, the divorce rate continues to climb. Statistics show that, ?In the United States, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce and in Canada, one in our.? These climbing rates are alarming. It suggests a ?divorce epidemic? in society today. This epidemic brings upon new economic problems such as the increasing number of single, divorced mothers on social assistance. But the real concern should be focused on the children involved. Research has looked into the effects divorce has on child and it has been statically proven that a failed marriage brings upon a noticeable affect on the child involved.
Emotional State of the child
For many children, the news that their parents are splitting up comes as a complete surprise. ?Many parents fail to explain to their children what is happening either because they are too upset and the less said, the better.? However, when they do find out, the outcome will vary with the age and sex of the child. ?Very young children, under the age of three, often don?t understand what is going on. Those bit older often feel they are to blame, and are afraid of losing the other parent. They cling to their parent, have nightmares, and need endless reassurance.? Younger children tend to fantasize a great deal about their parents getting back together whereas for older children, it is a different perspective. ? Preadolescent youngster fail to see divorce as a logical solution and feel that their parents should stay together. For adolescents, divorce may be seen as a relief in some instances, however there is pain.? Research indicates, and experts agree that divorce is a very painful transition in the lives of all the members involved. The emotional impact, however, will depend on the nature of the child.
Divorce brings on behaviour changes in children of all ages. Again, they vary from child to child. ?Adolescent males often become more aggressive and destructive. Females, however, initially take things fairly well, assuming a lot of family responsibility. But in young adulthood, they develop problems. This is known as the ?sleeper effect.? The behaviour of the child of a divorced family is mainly developed by the single parent whom they live with ? ? Studies show that many boys in single parent families lose their fathers before age five show greater identification with females in the preschool and elementary school years.?
In nearly all cases of divorce, one parent is forced to relocate. This can be a devastating experience for the child. ?Leaving behind friends and making new ones is difficult to do especially having to cope with your parent?s divorce on the side. One is most likely to feel isolated and lonely.? Though, behaviour may vary, every child will typically have certain psychological reactions to divorce: sadness, or depression, denial, embarrassment, anger, guilt concern about being cared for, regression, maturity and physical symptoms.
?As the child grows older, they will come to terms with the fact that divorce is an adult decision over which they have no control.? The fantasies that young children have, begin to slowly fade as time goes by. ? It isn?t until he [the child] reaches early adulthood that the fantasies completely disappear. But this does not mean necessarily meant that he will approve even like his [new] stepfather.? In nearly all cases, acceptance never happens overnight. It is a slow and steady process. ?Successful acceptance of a divorce requires rational and caring communication form both the biological parents.? Patience and consideration for a child dealing with their parents divorce are foundational components to aide the child to full acceptance and recovery.