Divorce numbers are very important. In Spain it grows and goes towards 30% on marriages celebrated. In the USA it is above 40%, falling somewhat in recent years. It is a phenomenon that is taking place, at least, in the western world. Giving the statistics of the percentage of divorces over that of marriages celebrated the same year could give an idea of the rate of marital failure; but only if that percentage is maintained for a number of years equivalent to the duration of a marriage. In any case, the divorce figures are very important. Which has led to studies on the influence it can have on children. The social dimension of the effects on the offspring cannot escape us.
As always, it should be noted that the emotional reactions that occur in children are not predetermined. They depend on a number of important factors, such as the child’s history and the way and ability she has to cope with the new situation that has a tremendous influence on her life. Some reactions may be:
• They realize they have a problem and that it hurts and they don’t know how to react to that pain.
• They believe that parents can get back together and push or perform acts that only lead to a feeling of failure or additional problems in the couple.
• Fear, loneliness or sadness
Any divorce has repercussions on the children involved; many times your initial reaction is shock, sadness, frustration, anger, or worry. But children can also come out of a divorce process more prepared to deal with stress, and many of them become more flexible and tolerant youth. It is important to speak seriously to our children about this issue, to make them feel confident that a divorce is difficult but it is not their fault and their parents will always be there. As soon as you are sure of your plans, talk with your child about your decision to separate. Although there is no easy way to break the news, try to have both of you present during the conversation if possible. It’s important to let go of feelings of anger, guilt, or remorse. Before talking to your child, practice how you are going to say it without getting upset or angry during the conversation.