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
FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE
No more trust
FACTORS WHY COUPLES DIVORCE
Drinking or Drug Abuse
Physical or mental abuse
HOW ARE CHILDREN AFFECTED BY DIVORCE
Too young to understand what is happening
May sense parents’ stress and feel changes in
Lack mental ability to understand what is
Will be confused, angry, sad, and fearful
May believe they are at fault
Fantasy play will reveal fears and desires of
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
Early Elementary Grade
Better to handle separation to the
Fear of being replace in the affections of the
sadness, depression, anger, and general
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
Intensely angry at their parents for divorcing.
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
May act out anger and frustration through
delinquency, substance abuse, sexual
may blame one or both parents
may become controlling by demanding to stay
in one place or to switch residences
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
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
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
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.