Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Children of the Divorced

Family is the basic community where an individual is given the necessary nutriments to grow up healthy. An article in the  Kyunghyang magazine gives us the problems that children face with a break up of the family. We usually think of family as parents and children, but today the makeup has many different configurations. In elementary school the children are introduced to a variety of families: grandparents and grandchild, persons living alone, one  parent families,  refugee families from the North, multicultural families, families where one of the children is head of the household and  many others. Consequently, we have a need to understand and  have concern for this variety. Discord between families and within families affects the children.

The family begins with marriage. For a Catholic the marriage bond is an indissoluble bond between father and mother encompassing the birth and education of the children. Despite this reality we have couples not  able to overcome the  difficulties they face and divorce. Besides the trauma of divorce experienced by the couple, the  coldness of the society in which they live, and the harm done to the  children all add to the misfortune. Children have problems making known the divorce of the parents. "Better would be the  death of the spouse. With death you hear words of consolation with a divorce the thoughts are  about maladjustment and personal faults."

Divorce scars the children. In 2012 there were 114,300 divorces and of that number 60,300 had young children. These children are prone to anxiety, despondency, guilt, shame, and similar emotional difficulties. This appears in their adjustment  to school life.The writer of the article would like to see more interest in working with the children of these broken families to give them resiliency to face the future. She would like to see more study in these areas  to  help the children overcome the trauma of divorce.

In her article she quotes an elementary school  teacher who experienced divorce of his parents as a young child, and even  now when he talks about the divorce  of his parents tears come to his eyes. He notices that many of the problem children in his classes are  the children of the divorced or with family problems. The children, however do not want to talk about it, not even with their closest friends. He wants the teachers to be conscious of this sensitivity of the children of divorced parents, and would like to see programs for the teachers. She also hopes the Synod next year will be conscious of the problems of  the children of the  divorced.                 

There are many  programs for the divorced in our society but no programs that are easily available for the children of the divorced. She would like to see these programs in the educational process and in our churches.Many children of the divorced are depressed and full of anger which needs our concern. Divorced parents should make clear to the children that the divorce is not their fault, and help them to have confidence in themselves. She  concludes her article with the thought that there are many children who are not living with their parents, and we need to be conscious of this and be ready to help.

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