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The potentially negative side of ‘staying together for the kids’

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The potentially negative side of ‘staying together for the kids’

The potentially negative side of ‘staying together for the kids’

There is little debate about the fact that parental divorce is a difficult experience for children. Divorce is hard for the entire family. But should two parents in an unhappy marriage stay together just to spare their kids from the grief of divorce?

This is an issue that is still a matter of debate. Many parents choose to stay together “for the kids,” but not everyone agrees that this is beneficial. In fact, some now-grown children of divorce are saying that their home lives were likely much better than they would have been if their parents had stayed married.

Actress Anna Kendrick recently gave that opinion in an interview with Fashion magazine. Kendrick said that she was about 15 years old when her parents got divorced. Now, at age 29, she firmly believes that her parents made the right decision.

Kendrick said: “I hate when people think you’re broken because your parents are divorced. I really reject the idea of staying together for the kids. If they’re growing up in a house that’s not healthy, it’s better to know that’s not the model of what marriage should be.” She added that staying together for the kids “perpetuates this warped idea of what a healthy relationship looks like.”

Over the past several decades, there have been numerous studies about the effects of parental divorce on children. While early studies predicted serious long-term consequences to a child’s psychological and emotional wellbeing, subsequent studies have shown that children are often more resilient than we give them credit for.

With the right emotional and psychological support, children can cope with parental divorce in healthy ways. And as Anna Kendrick’s words demonstrate, they may even grow up to thank their parents for making the difficult yet necessary decision to get a divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Anna Kendrick Opens Up About Her Parents’ Divorce,” Brittany Wong, Jan. 7, 2015

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