Author (Greek version): S. Iliopoulou
Translation: Evi Diamontopoulou
Editor: George Kitsaras
We live in a society where the percent of divorces seems to be constantly increasing affecting lives including the couple and, most importantly, the children who face unprecedented, negative feelings (sorrow, anger, insecurity etc.). Undoubtedly, a break up is a traumatic experience for the whole family, which is why it is often said that parents have to stick together despite their differences for the sake of their children. But if we consider the conflicts which may take place in such occasions, ending a marriage can be actually beneficial for the children (Dominian, 1998; Symeou, 2005).
The impact of a divorce differs and it is heavily depended upon the age and maturity of the children both behaviorally and emotionally. In their daily life, children will certainly have to deal with hard emotions such us fear and stress, maybe in the form of sleep disorders (nightmares), aggression, disputation etc. as a result of the divorce process (Chatzichristos, 1999).
Even when children are older, their age alone is not sufficient to allow for the full comprehension of the complex emotional processes associated with their parents getting a divorce. In school age children in particular, the effect of those processes becomes even more apparent through falling school performance, the tendency to be part of parental conflicts and the expression of feeling for rejection (Simeou, 2005).
For even older children such as adolescents, the inherit emotional and behavioral turbulence associated with this period can exacerbate the negative feelings around the divorce (Chatzichristos, 1999). Feelings of anger and insecurity can manifest with even greater intensity when teenagers are contemplating their own autonomy and personal relationships outside the family unit with an outwardly open search for support from their own significant others (Symeou, 2005).
Despite best efforts to insulate children out of the messy process of separation there will always be incidents where children are exposed to negative and damaging processes and feelings during the divorce. Nevertheless, parents need to be persistent in their support and care for their children throughout their divorce and, equally importantly, after the end of the divorce process
Dominian, J., (1998). Marriage lessons. Translation: S. Metaxas, Athens: Greek Letters.
Simeou, M., (2005). Stress and its impacts on divorced parent’s children. Unpublished diploma paper. Lemesos: Nursery School of Technological University of Cyprus.
Chatzichristos, X., (1999). The parent’s break up, the divorce and their children: The adaption of children in dualcore family and school. Athens: Greek Letters.