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Research Paper

Ivonne Cruz
HD300 IP
Pacific Oaks College
Early Childhood Themes and Life Cycles Issues
Research Paper
(How divorce psychologically affect children)
November 14, 2014
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How Divorce psychologically affect children

I have chosen this topic of How Divorce psychologically affect children, as I am a

divorced parent of three boys. At the time of my divorce my children were ages 11,13

and 14. This was a very difficult time for myself and my children. I kept looking for

answers and solutions to avoid hurting them. I wanted to instill in my children what a

healthy marriage could look like and to teach them how to establish a secure love

relationship in their future lives and to possess the ability to create healthy attachments.

My children suffered separation anxiety issues during the time of the dissolution and

experienced a custody battle.

I was granted by the judge, in the court of law, with Joint Legal Custody. As the book of

What about the Kids? state under Joint Legal Custody, pg. 90 that Parents with joint

legal custody agree to share equally in decisions regarding their childs education,

religion, place of residence, health, and any other issues specified by their parenting

plan. I chose to remain living at the same residence in which my children were born

and raised at. My ex-husband moved out to live with his mother at her residence which

was located few blocks down our street. This seemed to work out and be a more

comfortable and easier transition for my children and myself.

I had noticed that my children were suffering a mild depression, they became more

isolated, as they did not want to participate in family parties and reunions for a period of
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time. As the book Helping your kids to Cope with Divorce pg.154 states While no child

is too young to be depressed, depression commonly shows up during the preadolescent

years. Some mild depression is normal when a child is faced with a crisis like divorce,

and some degree of moodiness is typical of the preteen years. My children were facing

a significance degree of poor school performance and academics. Their teachers had

noticed their poor concentration at school and their unfinished homework and

assignments. The situation became more aggravated with my younger child of age 11.

His teachers had to be constantly calling me because of his bad grades and that he was

disruptive in class. This is when I realized that things were getting out of control and

had all three of my boys go under psychological therapy and family counseling. I knew I

had to be a strong, supportive parent who had to help my children express their

emotions and perhaps frustrations. I had to listen to them and be sensitive to their

feelings, showing them reassurance and my unconditional everlasting love. I was

always very honest with my children and always kept it real. I knew that they were not

as young anymore and they deserved to be spoken to with the truth. As the article

Helpguide.org. pg. 2 states that in general, younger children need less detail and will do

better with a simple explanation, while older kids may need more information. I just had

to be more tactful and careful on how much information I was going to share with them.

I was always afraid to hurt them.

Coming from loving parents that stated together through the duration of their lives I

personally would have found it very difficult seeing them apart from each other and with
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new mates. As the article Helpguide.org. pg. 1 states there are many ways you can

help your kids adjust to separation or divorce. Your patience, reassurance, and

listening ear can minimize tension as children learn how to cope with the new

circumstances. By providing routines kids can rely on. You remind children that they

can count on you for stability, structure and care. And If you can maintain a working

relationship with your ex-husband you can help kids avoid the stress that comes with

watching parents in conflict. Such a transitional time cannot be without some measure

of hardship, but you can powerfully reduce your childrens pain by making their well-

being your top priority. As the book What about the kids? Pg,110 state You may be

tempted to say, your dad is rotten or Your mom is an iceberg. Dont say it. On the

other hand youd sound foolish to idealize the person you are divorcing. How to strike a


After reading these articles and seeking for expert advice, sometime after the

dissolution I maintained a good outstanding relationship with my ex-husband. This

helped minimized some tension, stress and unpleasant moments within the family.


For the purpose of this assignment I conducted three interviews of the population of

divorced parents of different ages ranging from ages 30 to 50 years old. These
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interviews took place in various settings, such as Starbucks, a McDonalds and one of

the interviewees front porch of their homes. I have created a set of 10 questions

Relating to the topic of A Parent Perspective of how divorce psychologically affects

their children and how these parents were able to seek assistance in order to enhance

the level of their children to live more productive lives. The focus of these interviews

was addressed for the best interest of the children and how they can evolve in future

respected and honorably young men and women.

The questions I asked were as followed:

1. What were the ages of your children at the time of the divorce?

2. Did you have full custody of your children or did you have a sole custody?

3. Did you have any conversations with your children prior to the dissolution?

4. How did your children react to your decision?

5. Did you seek any marital therapy or counseling?

6. Did you notice any different behaviors on your children?

7. How was your children school performance?

8. Do you feel your children resented you at any given time due to the separation?

9. Do you have any personal regrets on how you handled your marriage?

10. Do you plan to remarry?

In the interviews conducted there were many similarities between the three interviewees

and their answers about them having full custody of their children. At the time of the
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divorce the children of all of the interviewees experienced the same feeling of

abandonment by their parents.

Discussion and Conclusion

While conducting the interviews, reading literature on this topic, and connecting

the interviews to the literature, I learned that children of divorced parents can have a

long and negative effect on their personal psychological development throughout their

lives. I learned that children are affected in various ways. Some major effects that

emerged from the data gathered include depression and withdrawal. This information

has been reflected on the results of my interviews. I believe that every child has

suffered from the divorce of their parents should be legally mandated to go under

psychological therapy. By taking these steps the society could be prevented from

having future troubled individuals and healthier and happier citizens.

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Reference List

Jen Abbas (2004), Generation Ex. Pg. 1

Judith S. Wallestein (2003), What about the Kids? . pg. 90

M. Gary Newman (1998). Pg. 159 Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce, the

Sandcastles Way

Helpguide. Org. pg 2. Retrieved October 4, 2014