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Posts Tagged ‘Children and Divorce’

Is There Enough School Support for Children of Divorced Parents?

November 24, 2014

divorce

I can’t help thinking that because divorce is becoming increasingly common that society foolishly assumes children are more than ever capable of overcoming the split of their parents. This is just not true. Children find it as hard as ever to reconcile the breakdown of their parents’ marriage.

The research strongly backs my position and signals a need for greater school support. Perhaps we shouldn’t wait to see signs of distress, and instead offer support as soon as the breakup occurs:

Children of divorced parents are more likely to get bad exam results, drink, take drugs and develop eating disorders, a survey has shown.

Nearly two thirds of children who saw the break-up of their families claimed it had a negative effect on their GCSEs.

One in eight said they had used drugs or alcohol and almost a third said they ate more or less as a result.

The survey – commissioned by Resolution, a group that represents 6,500 family lawyers in England and Wales – looked at the experiences of 500 young people aged 14 to 22.

Resolution chairman Jo Edwards told the Times that the study had revealed just how far-reaching the impact of divorce can be.

She said: ‘The findings underline just how important it is that parents going through a split manage their separation in a way that minimises the stress and impact on the entire family.’ Each year, around 100,000 under-16s see their parents break-up. Many suffer long-term effects associated with the pressure the divorce process puts on them.

Of those surveyed, a third said that one parent had tried to turn them against the other parent and more than 25 per cent said they had been dragged into their parents’ arguments. Schooling is also adversely affected as children struggle to complete their homework.

Around 12 per cent admitted skipping lessons and 11 per cent found themselves increasingly in trouble with teachers as a result of a change in family circumstances.

Siôn Humphreys, a senior policy adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers, said that education was suffering because teachers are not trained to deal with the problem. She told the Times: ‘Teachers see day in, day out, the impact separation can have.

‘It would not be unusual for the school to be the first port of call to support the parent left holding the baby, but it is not necessarily something teachers are specially trained for.’

Last month, EU statistics for 2012 revealed that British children are more likely to be from single-parent families than anywhere else in Western Europe.

One in four now live with a lone mother or father, compared with around one in six across the EU.

The only EU country with a higher figure than Britain was the eastern state of Latvia. We are now ahead of Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and France, where the number of youngsters living with just one parent is dropping – or rising more slowly.

Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, has urged policy-makers to take ‘essential’ steps in limiting the ‘host of negative social and economic implications’ of divorce.

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Children of Seperated Couples Should Not Stay Overnight With Father: Parenting Expert

June 15, 2014

Penelope Leach at her home in Hampstead for Helen Wethers interview

As a stay-at-home father I am calling out so-called “parenting expert” for what I believe is blatant sexism:

 

A parenting expert has incurred the wrath of fathers’ groups by claiming that children of estranged couples should not stay overnight with them.

Psychologist Penelope Leach has said that generally children of separated couples aged four and under should not be parted from their mother to have a sleepover with their father. 

Ms Leach, whose book Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five was a bestseller in 1977, said attempts to share children was putting parents notions of ‘rights’  and notion of what is ‘fair’ above what is best for the child.

In her new book, Family Breakdown, she writes that there is evidence that separating children from their mothers reduces brain development, and can create unhealthy ‘attachment issues’.

‘Overnight stays with fathers from as early an age as possible is crucial if children are to form strong attachments with both of their parents.

Ian Maxwell, of the charity Families Need Fathers, added; ‘The bond between fathers and children is just as important.’

Ms Leach also criticises the legal profession in the book, writing: ‘when people say that it’s ‘only fair’ for a father and mother to share their five-year-old daughter on alternate weeks, they mean it is fair to the adults – who see her as a possession and her presence as their right – not that it is fair to the child.’

She has since defended her statements, insisting that ‘being a father is not a reward for good behaviour’.

 

 

Click on the link to read The Myth Concerning Children and Divorce

Click on the link to read The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children

 

 

The Myth Concerning Children and Divorce

December 31, 2013

 

div

There is a myth currently circulating about the effect of divorce on children. Some are of the belief that since divorce has become so common, children are better able to deal with it. This is complete rubbish and is rejected by the evidence.

Just because something is more common doesn’t make it any easier to adjust to:

Divorced parents are often in denial about how badly the break-up has damaged their children, a survey has found.

More than three quarters believed their children had ‘coped well’ – even though just 18 per cent of youngsters said they were happy with the situation.

Many parents fail to notice that their children are turning to drink and drugs, or even considering suicide, the poll found. Some were insensitive enough to break the news of the divorce to their children by text.

One in five of the children polled felt there was no point confiding in either their mother or father because they were ‘too wrapped up in themselves’.

The survey, by parenting website Netmums, polled about 1,000 divorced parents and 100 children aged eight to 18 from broken homes.

Although it featured only a relatively small pool of youngsters, a stark picture emerged of the struggles that many of them face when coping with their parents’ break-up.

One in 20 had turned to alcohol and one in nine had deliberately wounded themselves. A further 6 per cent had considered suicide, while two of those polled had tried to kill themselves.

Almost a third described themselves as devastated by divorce, while one in 12 thought that it meant their mothers and fathers ‘didn’t love them’ and had ‘let  them down’.

But despite the damage wrought by their parents splitting, few children felt able to speak openly and honestly about their emotions.

Nearly 40 per cent said they hid their feelings from their parents because they did not want to  upset them.

Many children felt forced to look after their mothers and fathers as the relationship broke down, and 35 per cent claimed that one parent had tried to turn them against  the other.

To make things worse, parents often vastly underestimated the impact of their behaviour on their sons and daughters, the survey found. Only 8 per cent admitted trying to turn their children against their partner.

And just 10 per cent said their children had seen them fighting – even though 31 per cent of youngsters told of witnessing rows.

One in ten knew their children were hiding their true feelings about the divorce but fewer than one per cent were aware of them drinking, self harming or taking drugs to cope.

 

Click on the link to read The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children

The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children

November 8, 2012

Many in society figure that since divorce is very common nowadays that the effects on children are far reduced. This is not the case. A child can be in a classroom full of children from broken homes. It doesn’t make their personal pain any less tangible:

Family breakdown is as devastating for today’s children as it was when divorce was a source of social disgrace, a state-backed report warned yesterday. 

Even though divorce is no longer considered ‘shameful’ – as it was until the 1970s – the children of broken families continue to suffer destructive effects throughout their lives, the report said.

The paper, produced by a team of senior academics, found that the damage caused to a child by divorce continues to blight his or her life as far as old age.

It said parental separation in childhood was ‘consistently associated with psychological distress in adulthood during people’s early 30s’.

The report added: ‘This seems to be true even across different generations, which suggests that as divorce and separation have become more common, their impact on mental health has not reduced.’

It comes a week after figures were published showing that almost half of all children have now seen their parents break up by the time they are 15.

The report said that good health depends on lifestyle conditions that it termed ‘social medicines’. Key among these is a stable family background.

The findings undermine the claims of politicians, lawyers and activists who have argued for years that divorce causes no harm to children if parents part amicably and without conflict.

‘Family life has undergone dramatic changes over recent decades,’ the report, produced by a team led by Professor Mel Bartley, said.

‘Families no longer have to have two parents, they can contain children from different parents, and parents no longer have to be of different genders.’

But it warned: ‘More freedom also means less certainty, and this has led to concerns about the impact of family stability on the health and well-being of both children and adults.

‘Family living arrangements are related to children’s physical health.

Click on the link to read Research Suggests That There’s no Such Thing as a Good Divorce
Click on the link to read The Role of Teacher in Helping Students Deal With Divorce
Click on the link to read Don’t Dismiss the Effect of Divorce on a Child
Click on the link to read Teaching Union Wants Porn on the National Curriculum

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