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Adjustment To Divorce: A World Of Uncertainty

1896 words - 8 pages

One late summer night when AAM was ten years old, she was cuddled up with her younger brother and sister in piles of sleeping bags on the floor. The pain of the last few months had graciously excused itself that night while hope, instead, was finally welcomed in. She remembers the night feeling carefree; especially once her parents came into join them. However, the happiness quickly vanished and heart-crushing fear began to set in as her parents said, “We have something to tell you.” Her heart began to beat unsteadily with each breath catching in her throat. She looked around to find her little brother and sister pale and lifeless. Her dad looked distant while her mom was epically failing at hiding her tears. All too soon the four most horrid words AAM would ever hear were said. “We are getting divorced,” her parents stated. At that moment, the entire world crashed down around her; leaving her helpless and alone. All she remembers today is her mom’s piercing cries in her parents’ old bedroom, and the terror-stricken fear of not knowing what will happen tomorrow.

Unfortunately, over one million new American children will have to suffer the divorce of their parents each year (Kirn, McDowell, Padgett, Sachs, & Thigpen, 2000). For adults, divorce is simply just a conclusion, but for children, it is the start of uncertainty. Where will I live? Will I still get to see mommy and daddy everyday? Why don’t they love each other anymore? These are a few questions children of divorce ask themselves when hearing the devastating news. According to historian John Sommerville, marriage initially emerged to create “security for the children to be expected from the union;” whereas today, “the child’s interest in the permanence of marriage is almost ignored” (Zinsmeister, 1996). So how does this affect these children? It screws them up, simply put. No matter how hard a child takes the blow of a divorce, the scars will forever mark these children’s hearts. Divorce causes lasting impacts on children throughout the process of divorce, directly after, and later in their life.
The transition during a divorce is never easy. Before the final separation between the parents, there is much uncertainty in a child’s mind. Knowing that his or her parents are going to get divorced is completely different from it actually being implemented into action. Each divorce is different; therefore, every transition will be different, but no matter how easy or hard the transition is, the physical movement back and forth to each parent’s house can be very detrimental. There is no such thing as a good divorce, and the effects of it on children cannot be escaped, but they can be diminished. To begin with, children are entitled to be told the truth about the divorce. It is important for parents not to sugarcoat the reasons because it will only leave children wondering whether they can help change the course of their parents’ plan. Moreover, the children’s...

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