19th Jul, 2022
It's true! Research has shown that children of divorce can gain many advantages over their peers who have parents that are still married. That does …
Research has shown that children of divorce can gain many advantages over their peers who have parents that are still married. That does not mean every child will gain these qualities, or that your children won’t be hurt by a divorce. I am simply trying to provide an optimistic view of divorce for parents who are divorcing that not all hope is lost on your children if you choose to divorce.
Children of divorce can become more resilient. After having to go through a divorce with their parents, children of divorce can learn to bounce back and adapt. There are a lot of emotional, mental, and physical changes going on for every member of the family during a divorce. Children may need help coping, but they can come out the other side with the ability to accept change as a fact of life. After going through a divorce, other challenges life throws at them may seem minor in comparison.
Frequently the mayhem of divorce makes children become more self-sufficient and responsible. If mom or dad can’t help because they are now working when they didn’t used to, or they are simply still in the middle of court, or any other number of reasons to be unavailable, a child can and usually will figure out how to remedy their current obstacle on their own.
But this leads me to another point- a child can develop a unique and stronger bond with each parent as a result of the divorce. Chores or obligations that were once relegated to a single parent (mom drives to soccer practice, dad does Boy Scouts) now has to be split evenly by both parents so dad may have to drive to some practices and mom may have to become a den leader. Further, the parents have more opportunity to focus on just that child and that particular issue in front of them. There is no distraction like having to be responsible for multiple other things for multiple family members (think of cooking breakfast for 2 or 3 instead of 5 or cleaning for 2 or 3 instead of 5 people’s loads of laundry). These types of changes can allow the parent and child to carve out quality time they may not have had before.
Children of divorce can develop greater empathy for situations. They are quick to realize when one of their friends or another family member is in a difficult situation and remember what kind of difficult situation going through divorce was. They will remember what kind of attention and affection they craved during that difficult time and will offer it to anyone in a tough spot.
Children of divorce will see what kind of commitment and hard work divorce requires. This will make them more choosy of future spouses and will not settle for anything less than the best for themselves in relationships.
They see that marriage requires the utmost in communication to keep it together and they will learn to master the art of communication early and frequently. They are likely to loathe being misunderstood and will work hard to be master of communication.
When you have to transition from house to house with usually only 1 overnight bag, you become great at organization and time management. You have only so much time with that parent, which means only so much time with that friend, or at that place. When the exchange happens on one or two specific days in a week, you learn very quickly the importance of knowing days and times and being prepared! If you want to fit a certain toy into the overnight bag, or be able to find anything at either house, you will have to be organized or it will negatively effect your time management!
Speaking of two households- if your singular house consists of fighting (yelling, screaming, passive aggression, the silent treatment) then having two separate homes of peace is so much better for a child than one home of constant bickering.
If the child of divorce has siblings, those siblings will form a tight bond after going through the calamity of a divorce together.
It’s not all bad for children of divorce.