Friday, March 2, 2012

Effects on Middle Age Children of Divorce: Melissa James

Divorce is difficult for children of any age, however it can be especially harmfull to a middle aged child who is still learning by their enviroment. This is a crucial time period for the child who is absorbing much knowledge and many lessons. Watching parents interact has an impact on how children see the world and learn to judge whats acceptable and not as well as what is right and what is wrong morally as well as socially. This is when much of the moral foundations are learned. This can be a negative thing for the child who is involved in a ugly dispute between the two adults that have provided the security to child until this time. Parents trully need to think about how this will forever impact their child. We teach respect but run down the other parent? How does the child interpret that? We teach honosty even when its uncomfortable, but child witnesses the parents dishonesty first hand. Not only does this cause the child to queshtion what really is right and wrong but it also causes resentment towards parents, frustration in general, and a sense of hopelessness. Witnessing the positive interaction can serve them well for a lifetime as well. They will be able to realize it is possible to be respectful and dignified when a major life-altering crisis arises. And unless they are the 'bubble boy' crisis will happen in thier lives at some point. How well equipped our children are to handle 'lifes situations' are being decided daily as our children watch us cope.


  1. Melissa,
    I do not have any first hand knowledge about children from divorced families. My husband and I are both from families with no divorces. I know this is very rare. This is an area that I need to learn more about. I am sure I will have children as clients that have been through divorce with their parents. I am sure it has to be terrible hard for children to understand. Blaming themselves is a big issue. This is something that could affect long-term relationships with the child later in life. I need to be mindful of negative actions of children who have come from divorced families.
    Susan Davis

  2. What we learned in SW w/ children and families last semester really surprised me....That divorce impacts younger children more than older children. You would think a younger child would be able forget, so to speak, but that's not the case.

    I think it is incredibly important to directly address the issues that arise during a divorce. Never assume that the child is not having any thoughts or feelings about it.

    Definitely a good idea to show the child how to respect someone they may not be getting along with anymore! Nice post!

  3. Coming from divorced parents I think that it was especially harder on me because I was so young. My parents divorced when I wasnt even one, so the back and forth from holidays and weekends lasted a longer period, and I know it had a huge impact on me even to this day. So that could be one of the reasons why it is harder when the child is smaller. There was one thing that did help though and that was since my parents got divorced at such an early point I never had that false hope of them getting back together because they had been apart so long, and I think that when divorce happens to teens sometimes they get that sense that it will rekindle, so when it doesnt it can be devistating. Another plus was double the birthday and christmas presents. hehe just kidding.
    Brittanie Bennett`