If you are a parent, you probably spend a lot of time worrying about the health, safety, and happiness of your children. When a couple with children divorces, the parents main concern is often how the divorce will affect the children. How will they adapt to their new lifestyle? Will they become resentful of their parents? Although divorce is a difficult process for families to go through, research shows that boys and girls have a remarkable ability to adapt to a two-home family and even thrive in it.
Famous psychologist Constance Ahrons spent 20 years studying the effects of divorce on children. She found through her studies that about 80 percent of children whose parents divorce adapt to the divorce and lead contented, prosperous lives afterward. Most do not suffer permanent negative effects on their mental well-being, physical health, school performance, or social skills.
Developmental psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington’s work supports Ahrons’ findings. Through a study of 2,500 children whose parents divorced, Hetherington found that a divorce alone did not influence children’s social, academic, or personal lives negatively. Other research supports these conclusions. When it comes to raising happy, healthy children, staying together as married parents is not required.
Children Need Love and Support Regardless of if Parents are Married
So what do children need to thrive? According to child development expert and professor Michael Lamb, children need several things in order to develop properly. Firstly, children should ideally have a close relationship with both of their parents – save for situations in which one or both parents are abusive or incapable of caring for a child. Lamb also states that both parents should be consistent in the way they discipline their children. This can be especially tricky for divorced co-parents, but with communication and cooperation, it is possible. Finally, children need emotional responsiveness from both parents as well as social support. Children do not need both parents to be living together in order to reap the benefits of emotionally-engaged and loving parents.
Divorce Attorneys Who Put You and Your Family First
If you are considering divorce, you probably have many questions and concerns. A Wheaton family law attorney can guide you through the divorce process and help you find solutions to conflicts which arise. To set up a free, confidential consultation with the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002 today.