Do you know someone whose parents have divorced? Are yourparents divorced? Chances are that you can answer yes to one – or maybe both – of those questions. And you are not alone!
What is divorce?
Unfortunately divorce is becoming more and more common. In our parents or grandparents younger days, divorce was not the norm and couples would live a long and happy life together.
But it has become more accepted over the years and even though everyone goes into a marriage with the best intentions of living a long happy life together sometimes it just doesn’t work out. D
Divorce happens after a husband and wife decide they can’t live together anymore and no longer want to be married. They agree to sign legal papers that make them each single again and allow them to marry other people if they want to. Divorce is not for everyone though and sometimes things can be worked out through counselling.
Sometimes both parents want to divorce, and sometimes one wants to and the other one doesn’t. Usually, both parents are disappointed that their marriage can’t last, even if one wants a divorce more than the other.
Many kids don’t want their parents to divorce. Some kids have mixed feelings about it, especially if they know their parents weren’t happy together. Some kids may even feel relieved when parents divorce, especially if there has been a lot of fighting between parents during the marriage.
Many children also react to the breakup of their parents with sadness, frustration and anger. Which are all normal feelings too.
Is it my fault?
Kids should always remember that they are not to blame for the breakup. There are many reasons why people divorce. Maybe the love they once had for each other has changed. Maybe they’ve grown apart. Maybe they fight and just can’t agree about things. Each couple has their own reasons. But one thing is for sure – kid’s don’t cause divorce.
Many children of divorced parents believe they are the reason that their mum and dad got divorced. They think if only they had behaved better, got better marks at school, or done their chores that the divorce wouldn’t have happened. But this is not true – divorce is between mum’s and dad’s only.
Can it be fixed?
Just like divorce is not the kid’s fault, getting your parents back together is not up to the kids either. And most often this doesn’t happen either – even if the kids want it to. Trying to get straight “A’s” at school or being an angel around the house will not bring your parents back together. And neither will bad behaviour. So just try and talk to your parents about how you’re feeling.
The next step
Usually after divorce, one parent moves out of the house and lives somewhere else. Some families share the children – one parent has the kids one week and the next week the other parent does. Sometimes there is main parent and the kids go to the other parent in the weekends. If this is the situation for you , you may find it strange visiting your own parent, but you may also enjoy a little time away from your everyday house. All families are different and it is good if the arrangement is working for everyone. And it can feel good knowing you have two homes where someone loves you.
If you live most of the time with one parent, the other parent may live close to you or far away. How often you are able to visit can depend on how far away everyone lives. Some kids whose parents get divorced have to move to a whole new home or town and that can be tough too.
Sometimes problems can come up when kids visit one parent and then go home to the other. One parent might ask a lot of questions about stuff the other parent is doing. Sometimes a parent wants the kids to be a messenger between homes. Kids often feel uncomfortable when these kinds of things happen and wish their parents would just ask each other what they want to know.
Kids don’t want to feel like they’re playing piggy in the middle. If something like this happens to you perhaps you could talk to your parents and tell them how it makes you feel.
In the end
It can be really hard dealing with divorce but remember that lots of kids go through what you’re going through and usually everything turns out fine.
For kids of a divorced family it may mean stepfamilies someday. Other brothers and sisters and step parents. Things may not go smoothly all the time. But over the years you’ll see that things probably haven’t turned out too bad.