More and more parents divorce because of their incompatibility and they adopt nontraditional family styles. According to CDC, nearly 3.2 out of every 1000 marriages end up in a divorce each year in the United States of America (CDC, 1). Many children in single-parent homes have been adversely affected. According to Livingston, only 46% of the children in the United States of America live in a traditional family comprising of blood-related parents and children and the rest live either in stepfamilies, single-parent families, or no-parent families (Livingston, 1). The question is whether parents should divorce or not when they have disputes. Parents should not divorce because single parents have much more stresses and lower-income levels to support their children, children are traumatized because their parents’ divorce and happy families help children develop a better and positive future personal life.
Many single mothers have a difficult time bringing up their children. This is because their incomes are lower as compared to families where both parents live together and earn together. They don’t have enough money to send their children to gain higher-quality education. According to a study conducted in the region of Britain “650,000 of Britain’s 1.8 million single-parent households – more than one in three – the mother or father is unemployed” (Malnick, 1). Due to single parents’ unemployment, children don’t have the opportunity to get a better college degree and earn well in their professional life. Those children only achieve lower education levels, in order to reduce their parents’ stress. However, in most of the cases in which it is to be decided whether the father or the mother should be given the custody of a child in case of divorce, the decision is made on the basis of the income level. The child’s custody is awarded to that parent who earns more. If the children’s parents remarry and have another baby, they may care more about the new baby and give the new baby more love and attention and may mistakenly avoid their elder child. In such cases, the children will become more independent and will start their life earlier in society. In addition, single mothers need to perform better compared to their performance while they live with a husband. They need to perform all household as well as professional activities along with caring for their child while they are the sole bread earners of the family. As a result of this, they may experience burnout or sadness. For example, a mother who is living with her children alone has to do a lot. She has to take care of her kids and bring them up single-handedly. They need to provide their children with affection and need to spend time with their children and help them in their growth. They have to carry out motherly as well as fatherly activities such as playing with the kid. At the same time, she is even the single person in the family to earn money. If she has only one job she may not be able to earn more money, but if she takes up more than one job it is quite likely that they will have less time to devote to their children. Other than working professionally, she even has to take care of household chores in order to upkeep her house. She may have to perform all the household duties all alone such as cleaning her home, making food, ironing clothes, and various other routine activities. Trying to perform all these activities all alone may lead to a situation in which the mother may experience overburden and increased stress due to lack of time. As a result of this, they may experience, anxiety, depression, and burnout.
Parents’ divorce can negatively impact the mental as well as the psychological health of a child. Divorce can affect children’s psychological well-being. Children of divorced parents are never able to experience the required amount of love and affection throughout their life. Divorce increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. According to research findings of Richards and fellow researchers “essentially, some children from single-parent families have been reported to have increased emotional and adjustment difficulties, and academic and school behavior problems in the short-term relative to their peers in stable two-parent families” (Richards, 280). Children belonging to divorced parents are particularly prone to anger and they do not obey the rules. Their academic performance would also be affected. Children may become depressed, and anxious, and may even take care of their parents, rather than be taken care of by their parents (Laumann-Billings, 685). Moreover, some single parents are remarried, but in children’s minds, they still think their birth mother or father is the best. As a result of this, they may feel that they are not a part of a new family and they may have a difficult time accepting new mothers or fathers. One research shows children may develop delinquent behavior while being a part of their stepfamily, and girls may have excessive amounts of alcohol and drug (Lofquist, 1). Even though children have a new family again, they are still unhappy. Supporters of divorce suggest that if parents are living in a disturbed relationship they should separate to protect their children from developing emotional issues. But the problem is that children are more likely to experience psychological issues if they experience the separation of parents who they love and are affectionate too. For example, children belonging to their blood-related parents may love both their parents irrelative of whether both or any one of the parents are conflicting and/or abusing each other in their relationship. If parents of such children divorce, it is quite likely that the children will either be given in the custody of the mother or the father. In case the child is allotted to the father then the child may experience a loss of love, affection, mental support, and closeness that he/she has developed with the mother. On the other hand, if the custody is given to the mother, children may experience stress and depression as a result of their failure to play with their fathers who they have been playing and developing alongside when both the parents were living together.
Happy families give their children a better future. As people always say, parents are role models for their children and parents help children learn the difference between right and wrong. Children tend to adopt and learn from the practices of their parents by observing their behavior. For example, research was conducted by Bandura in which children witnessed their parents beating a bobo doll and after witnessing this children even performed the same act with the doll when they were exposed to the doll (Finley, 257). Similarly, children even learn about relationships, love, family life, and marriage from their own parents. They are more likely to replicate or manage their future and present intimate and personal relationships with their loved ones in the same manner as their parents manage their marriage and intimate relationship. In Family Education, there is a quote: “If they see the two of you getting along and supporting each other, they will mirror you and will likely get along with each other and their friends” (Familyeducation, 1). Children tend to observe parents’ behaviors and based on their behaviors they decide what actions are considered correct or incorrect in terms of intimate relationships. As a result of this, they tend to follow the same approach or same behavior during their own personal relationships and while solving different problems. For example, Duman conducted research in which the researcher identified that when children were exposed to parents who are aggressive with their husbands and wives they are more likely to adopt the same aggressive behavior during problem-solving (Duman, 1). For example, when daughters of mothers who use aggression in their marital life witness their mothers indulging in aggressive behavior they tend to adopt the same behavior (Duman, 1). Parents are always good teacher and their behavior, manner and their habits can change the way children act and behave during their marital life. If parents experience divorce, their children are more likely to follow the same pattern of behavior and may never be able to maintain their marital life. For example, if a boy lives in a family where the father abuses the mother and finally divorces her, the child is more likely to follow the same pattern as he may perceive that it is alright to abuse an intimate partner. Furthermore, the boy will even fail to develop the trust that is required to maintain a relationship and since the children of separated parents are more likely to get involved in materialistic and professional life at an early age, they are less likely to focus on their intimate relationships and may ignore their intimate partner.
Divorces shouldn’t happen as divorce impacts the children in a negative manner. A single parent cannot offer their children a better education level and future and children experience the development of emotional and psychological issues as a result of their parent’s divorce. Children need love and care in a home and require a complete and traditional family life. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children’s inner world. People have to clarify who they truly love and then only they should marry as a selection of a wrong marital partner can result in divorce which can ruin the life of a child.
- “Faststats”. Cdc.gov, N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
- “How Your Marriage Affects Your Children – Familyeducation”. Familyeducation.com, N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
- Duman, Sarah, and Gayla Margolin. “Parents’ Aggressive Influences and Children’s Aggressive Problem Solutions with Peers.” Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36.1 (2007): 42-55. Print.
- Finley, Laura L. Encyclopedia of Juvenile Violence. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2007. Internet resource.
- Laumann-Billings, Lisa, and Robert E. Emery. “Distress Among Young Adults from Divorced Families.” Journal of Family Psychology, 14.4 (2000): 671-687. Print.
- Livingston, Gretchen. “Fewer Than Half Of U.S. Kids Today Live In A ‘Traditional’ Family”. Pew Research Center, N.p., 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
- Lofquist, Amy. “National Stepfamily Resource Center”. Stepfamilies.info, N.p., 1993. Web. 14 Dec. 2016, <http://www.stepfamilies.info/articles/the-effects-of-remarriage-on-children.php>
- Malnick, Edward. “Single-Parent Homes: Britain Second Only To Latvia In EU”. Telegraph.co.uk, N.p., 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
- Olszowy, Halie. “The Effects Of Income, Gender, Parental Involvement On The Education Of Children With Single-Parent And Step-Parent Families”. Perspectives (University of New Hampshire) (2012): 60-69. Print. https://cola.unh.edu/sites/cola.unh.edu/files/student-journals/P12_Olszowy_0.pdf
- Richards, Leslie N, and Cynthia J. Schmiege. “Problems and Strengths of Single-Parent Families: Implications for Practice and Policy.” Family Relations. 42.3 (1993): 277-85. Print.