The Effects of Divorce on Children and Families
Society is always rushing, hurrying, and trying to beat the clock. Deadlines and overtime seem to be a topic in everyday conversation. How is it possible that so much can be accomplished in just a short amount of time? What seems to be lacking? What is cut out of people’s everyday life? Frank Furedi in his book “Culture of Fear,” discusses many issues that are facing our society today. One of the issues he has written about is interpersonal relationships, at one point in the book Furedi writes “...people pollute-not just the environment but each other”(38). When one takes a more thoughtful approach to life, one may find there are many ...view middle of the document...
Ladner believes if the situation is dealt within a civilized manner, children will adjust more smoothly (qtd. in Masci 10). Even though it is a good theory that the parents will separate smoothly without any hostility, many times it does not work and the children are very perceptive to notice.
Along with their mix of emotions, children of broken homes are forced to grow up quickly and become an equal in a household. As an equal they must take on responsibilities of the house. A periodical titled “Journal of Youth and Adolescence,” makes it clear, based on a study, a child of divorce is usually seen as an equal contributor and deemed “joint partner” in the household (qtd. in Jurkovic et al. 1). This may include working at an early age, coming home to an empty house after school, and most of all dealing with the emotional stress of at least one broken hearted parent. As a child of a divorced family, an extreme amount of pressure is pushed into the situation.
More often than not, at early ages children are asked who they would rather live with, Mom or Dad. In a sense, two adults are asking a life in which they created, whom the child likes better. At this stage in the process it has already become clear by forcing a child to choose, the child is put in a predicament. Ladner believes, “Many parents aren’t mature enough to set aside their differences, and they end up using their child as a tool to fight with their spouse,” (qtd. in Masci 10). Most children are not equipped with the skills to choose what life they want to live. A lot of children are still in the stage of toys and games. Therefore what seems to happen then is the family goes to court to let a judge decide.
Despite the past, judges more and more are taking into consideration the father as well as the mother for custody. Although the judge in recent years has made this change in social policy, it does not change the fact, a complete stranger is now responsible for the well-being of the child. How and why has it become acceptable for someone who knows the family by facts alone, to decide what is best for someone? One would have to believe in this situation, the child is introduced to a new set of ideas and feelings. Ideas such that adults cannot get along with each other well enough to decide for the child, or even the adults are too busy to be bothered. The feeling might be the two adults do not trust each other or themselves to make a decision on whether one person or the other should raise the child. Once again the child is thrown into a whirlwind of emotions.
Once the custody is decided there is the custody agreement- joint custody, weekend visits, holidays, summers. Shuffled back and forth, the child is polite to oblige and loving both parents, the child does not want to disappoint anyone. Martha Fineman of Cornell University Law School points out that this can be very damaging to a child, by traveling back and forth between parents, this causes children to have just...