While it can be hard on children when their parents go through a divorce, there are also ways in which it can actually benefit them, according to some studies. The disadvantages are often taken on by the oldest female child in the family. When the parents split up, this is the child who typically ends up absorbing some of the duties and roles that a parent would traditionally fill. Therefore, she can be held back from things that she would have been able to do with two parents since she has to spend time and energy doing these new activities.
However, the question raised by the report was whether or not children would truly be better off with parents who decided to stick it out in an unhappy marriage. Situations that induced stress were considered when looking at the development of children in the womb, and it was found that children could be seriously hindered by these things. For example, expectant mothers and unborn children were impacted by their proximity to an earthquake. Even if they were not physically harmed, this increased stress levels.
Could the same be true for parents who create a stressful living situation for their children? While it has been shown that some children are worse off, the main question asked is whether or not some would actually be better off by not being subjected to an unhappy home.
When thinking about divorce, parents would be wise to think about more than just their own rights and desires. They also have to look at their children, if they have any, and decide what would be the best for those children.
Source: The Atlantic, “Recognizing When Kids Benefit From Their Parents’ Divorce” Dalton Conley, Apr. 16, 2014
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