They say marriages are made in heaven. However, this does not stand true every time. While some of us have blissful relations with our spouses, there are still alot of people who don’t have the same and want to move out of a marriage. This particularly becomes even more challenging after one has had kids with their partners. There are two main reasons why the break-up of parents can affect kids negatively.
The first is simply fewer resources. After a split, it’s hard to make the total family income cover the expenses of two households rather than one. The consequence is that many or most lone parents end up dependent on government benefits. Less income, less support, and less time have negative repercussions for children because they affect the parents.
The displaced parent—usually the father—now needs to make an extra effort to remain in regular contact with his children. That clearly doesn’t happen in many cases. A reduced level of day-to-day father involvement has a particularly negative effect on teens. Meanwhile, the lone parent at home carries the bulk of the responsibility for day-to-day parenting.
Understandably, single parents can either become more authoritarian or end up overcompensating or not doing the same at all. That doesn’t happen to all lone parents, but it happens enough to know that parenting style is one reason why kids often—but definitely not always—do worse in lone-parent families.
The second is the way children perceive divorce very differently from the parents. To the parents, the reason for the split is obvious. But it may not be to the kids. One day mom and dad are at home, mostly getting on fine, maybe a bit of bickering or a bit of a sour atmosphere, but not the end of the world. The next day they have split up. What on earth happened? Was it me? Or is that how relationships are? They just go pop for no apparent reason? That kind of thinking can sabotage the way children think about relationships when they become adults themselves. These are a few basic first questions that come up first in a child’s mind.
When parents then get along fine after the divorce, it can become even more confusing for the children. Why on earth couldn’t you make it work, parents? That’s why the whole idea of cooperative parenting makes so little difference to children. It’s how they perceive the divorce that matters, not how the parents think they perceive it.
In such a case the very first thing should be hiring a sensible divorce lawyer who can make life a bit easier for both the parties and not complicate things any further. For more info on the same, you can check out Quinn & Lynch, P.A.
There are no easy answers to this. But I have two concluding thoughts.
If you are currently struggling in your own relationship and wonder what to do, go for counselling. It’s full of practical advice about how there is always hope even when it seems so far away.
Let me know your thoughts on the same