You’ve heard unhappy couples say it, “We’ve decided to stay together for the sake of the children.” But, is this really the wisest course of action? New survey results showed that kids don’t think so.
Eight out of ten kids would rather have their parents split than stay together unhappily, a recent survey found. Kids and young adults aged 14 to 22 with past experience with parental separation or divorce were polled by ComRes for family law organization in the U.K. Resolution.
The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of the participants (82%) felt that it was ultimately better that their parents separated rather than stayed together unhappily, said the release. Even though they had to go through tough times, the kids still thought that a separation would be better.
Here are other key findings from the research:
62% of the children and young adults said that their parents did not include them in the decision-making process of their separation or divorce
47% said that they did not understand what was happening during their parents' separation or divorce
50% said they had no say as to which parent they would live with
88% felt that it was important to make sure children do not feel like they have to choose between parents
31% would have liked that their parents stopped speaking ill about each other to them
30% would have liked their parents to understand what it felt like to be a child stuck in the middle of the whole situation
“Of course, children usually find their parents’ separation extremely upsetting but as this research demonstrates, eventually many come to terms with the situation and adjust to changes in family life,” said Denise Knowles, relate counsellor for Resolution.
ComRes also did interviews for the research. Below is a male interviewee talking about how spending time with his parents separately was better than spending time with them together when there was tension.
“I think parents, generally, should do what’s best for them. If it had been a few years’ earlier and they’d have said to me, ‘oh, we’re considering getting a divorce. How do you feel about it?’ I would have been like, ‘no, don’t do it [mom].’ But then what happens if they take that advice? They’d stay together for a few more years and then, you know, once their kids go it all falls apart anyway. So I think once it happened, I had a better time hanging out with my dad and my mum separately than I did when they were together.”
Knowles added, “There are plenty of steps that separating parents can take to ensure they reduce the negative impact on their children such as working to avoid constant arguing or speaking badly of the other parent in front of the kids,”
If you're in the middle of a separation, Clinical psychologist Zachele Marie Briones gave this advice for helping your children cope with the family breakup. Use the 3As, she said in an article on Smart Parenting.
“First, assure your child that, despite the separation, both parents still love him. Next, adjust to the routine that your child is familiar with, to cushion the sense of loss. Last, agree with your ex-partner on the best shared parenting technique.” She added, “A strong support system is also very essential. If the single parent feels she could not do these on her own, she could also seek professional help.”
Source: Nov. 22, 2015."Don't stay together for our sake, say children". resolution.org.uk