Life Notes: Dealing Today With Divorce
by Judy Crow, LPC, LMFT, RPT-S

Divorce is a fact of life. We know this because statistics indicate that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. This means that approximately one-third of our nation’s children will experience this loss. As a child therapist, I see the emotional difficulties that children experience as a result of this sad but true fact.

Divorce brings not only the loss of a parent but also the loss of familiar surroundings and lifestyles. Divorce has, in fact, become one of the most common loss and bereavement experiences for children. Longitudinal studies indicate that the grief a child experiences over the breakup of the childhood family can affect the formation of adult relationships later in life. In addition, recent studies have shown that children raised in single parent homes may experience more psychological and addiction problems.

For children, adjusting to this trying time can be one of the most difficult tasks they have to face. In light of these dire facts, how can children be helped in this time of loss? It has been shown that the most critical factor in helping children cope is parental cooperation and support. But how, in the midst of so much strife and discord, can divorcing parents help each other help their children?

First of all, parents need to support themselves in order to do this. Professional help is sometimes needed. Seeking professional help is often a stressful decision in and of itself, but remember, your children are worth it and so are you.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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