Divorce as we read in the discussion spark poses many issues regardless of the age of the children. The families’ dynamics and principals are altered at many levels and often children find themselves blaming themselves, or hoping their parents can reconcile even long after the separation and even remarriage (Clarke-Stewart, 2014). These feelings can be everlasting and manifest as more serious issues later in life like behavior problems, depression and even future problems with relationships/intimacy.
When conflict occurs in a child’s early years, the children unfortunately are less likely to develop emotionally secure attachments to their parents; as opposed to conflict developing later I the years, children are likely to become aggressive or depressed (Denham, 2015). Also the more frequent and violent the issues/conflicts along with arguments, the more likely a child is to be upset and to blame themselves for the confrontation (Denham, 2015). The child can also experience emotional difficulties that present in elementary school according to Denham.
I can still recall conflict that arouse when I was maybe 6 years old. I can remember a hiding spot that I had when my parents fought and also at times blaming myself for their fighting. As I aged maybe around 8 years old, I often wished my parents would have divorced. Needless to say they have remained married but honestly fight the same way as they did when we were little, as well as throughout our entire existence. I often wonder what is worse, divorce or a couple staying together supposedly for the kids, but honestly dislike each other? Where do you draw the line. I love both of my parents but even still as an adult I can only handle them in small increments due to the constant bickering, put downs and arguments.
Children who observe extreme or even caustic conflict between their parent’s arguments and fighting also experience increases in their our distress, later suffering from depression, anxiety, social interactions as well as emotional security (Denham, 2015). I like to view myself as a pretty secure person but I can say that at times I have struggled with relationships. I can’t entirely blame the environment that I grew up in but I know that it didn’t help. I am glad we are talking about this topic because it seems like a good, solid, healthy and loving marriage is neither popular, or easy to come by.
Clarke-Stewart, A., & Parke, R. D. (2014). Social development (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Chapter 7, “Family: Early and Enduring Influences” (pp. 188–222)
Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Wyatt, T. (2015). The socialization of emotional competence. In J. Grusec & P. Hastings (Eds.), The handbook of socialization (2nd ed., pp. 590–613). New York, NY: Guilford Press.