WHAT IS DIVORCE? Oxford dictionary: the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. Wikipedia: is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. Merriam Webster: the action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage.
CURRENT DIVORCE RATE IN THE US? Frequent reports say that “50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce.”“Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.” -The Americans for Divorce Reform(http://www.divorcereform.org/)
FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE Work Problem Poor communication Infidelity No more trust Incompatible
FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE Drinking or Drug Abuse Physical or mental abuse Money Problem
HOW ARE CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DIVORCEInfant Too young to understand what is happening May sense parents’ stress and feel changes in daily routine
Preschool Lack mental ability to understand what is happening Will be confused, angry, sad, and fearful May believe they are at fault
Fantasy play will reveal fears and desires of family reunited Developmental regression: insisting to sleep on the same bed as the parent, stuttering or baby talk, disruption on toilet training, excessive emotional dependence to parent
School Age Early Elementary Grade Better to handle separation to the noncustodial parent Fear of being replace in the affections of the noncustodial parent sadness, depression, anger, and general anxiety decline in academic performance
Upper Elementary Grade capable of better understanding of divorce erecting defense mechanisms to protect themselves against the pain they feel over a divorce. Intensely angry at their parents for divorcing.
Teenagers divorce is difficult because it is yet another source of upheaval in their lives. torn between love for and anger toward their parents and between conflicting loyalties to both parents. May act out anger and frustration through delinquency, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity
may blame one or both parentsmay become controlling by demanding to stay in one place or to switch residences constantly.may have behavior problems, exhibit depression, show poor school performance, run away from home, or get into trouble with the law.
HOW TO HELP CHILDREN COPE WITH DIVORCE What to say and how to say it Tell the truth. Your kids are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, Say “I love you.” However simple it may sound, letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Address changes. Acknowledging that some things will be different now, and other things won’t.
Avoid blaming: Present a united front. As much as you can, try to agree in advance on an explanation for your separation or divorce—and stick to it. Plan your conversations. Make plans to talk with your children before any changes in the living arrangements occur Show restraint. Be respectful of your spouse when giving the reasons for the separation.
LISTEN AND REASSURE Help kids express feelings Listen. Encourage your child to share their feelings and really listen to them. Help them find words for their feelings. It’s normal for children to have difficulty expressing their feelings. Let them be honest. Children might be reluctant to share their true feelings for fear of hurting you. Acknowledge their feelings. Acknowledge their feelings rather than dismissing them..
Clearing up misunderstandings Set the record straight. Repeat why you decided to get a divorce. Be patient. Treat your child’s confusion or misunderstandings with patience. Reassure. As often as you need to, remind your children that both parents will continue to love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce.
Give reassurance and love Both parents will be there. It’ll be okay. Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that they will work out. Closeness. Physical has a powerful way of reassuring your child of your love. Be honest. When kids raise concerns or anxieties, respond truthfully.