These Statistics About Effects of Divorce on Kids Are Pretty Scary

Effects of Divorce on Kids - Mommy Makeover Network

The word divorce has gone from taboo to mainstream, all in our lifetime. Experts debate the exact divorce rate in the U.S., but they agree that the number of marriages ending in divorce today falls in the range of 35 percent to potentially higher than 50 percent. The effect on the adults involved is immense, but the toll it takes on their children is the real heartbreaker.

Findings of a recent study completed in the U.K. show that the difference in parents’ opinions versus those of their children is remarkable, and parents underestimated the effect of their divorce on their kids across the board. You may not believe what some of the numbers revealed.

First, over 75 percent of parents who were polled stated that their kids had “coped well” with the divorce. Meanwhile, just 18 percent of the kids echoed that sentiment. Sadly, 20 percent of these children, ages 8-18 felt they couldn’t talk to their parents about their feelings because their moms and dads were “too wrapped up in themselves.” In a trend that sounds like role reversal, almost 40 percent said that they hid their true feelings from their parents because they didn’t want to upset them.

The emotional implications of divorce on the kids who are involved has long been documented both in the U.S. and around the world. Perhaps what’s most alarming is the extremes to which the surveyed children have gone in response to their parents’ divorces. About 5 percent of the children had turned to alcohol, while one in nine of the children intentionally wounded themselves. Six percent had considered suicide, and two percent had even attempted it.

So what can we take away from the information uncovered in this study? Divorce is an inevitable part of many lives, and the outcome of two parents separating is often better than if they had stayed together in an unhappy marriage and home. However, the adults going through this difficult process need to stop thinking about themselves so much. If it’s hard on you, imagine how it feels to your kids. Quit posting updates on Facebook, enough with the selfies, and no more planning a “newly single celebration” with your friends (yes, apparently that’s a growing trend). Whether you and your partner are in a happy marriage or one that’s on the brink of divorce, your kids need to know that you love them and that they can trust and share their feelings with you.

3 Things I Learned in 6 Months of Motherhood

My baby just turned six months old yesterday. Six months old. It’s amazing to look back at all the changes we have both made in that short, yet incredibly long amount of time. When my daughter came home from the hospital, she was a tiny premature infant, left alone in the care of a woman who had never once changed a diaper. I poured through books and websites, searching for “how to wash/feed/care for a newborn.” Neither of us had any idea what we were doing.

Photo of 6 month old baby - Mommy Makeover Network

Today, we are pros. In six months, these are the things that I have learned.

1. They Are Just Little Humans

Seriously, relax. When my daughter came home, I was terrified to do anything wrong. Not sure of how much to hold her, I applied the instructions you give a child with a new hamster: “Don’t take them out of the cage too much in the beginning until they are used to their new surroundings.” But really, babies are like really tiny, emotional drunks. They scream and cry about nothing until they drink their bottle and go back to sleep. It’s as simple as that.

2. Nobody Knows Anything

It’s true. There are basic guidelines to caring for a baby, but honestly, nobody really knows what they’re doing. Some babies like to watch tv, some will go to sleep easily, some sleep through the night, while others don’t. It doesn’t matter. So long as your baby is healthy and seems happy, don’t worry about it. I had my “ah-ha” moment about raising kids after talking to my mother about “tummy time.” I was distraught about making sure my daughter was doing enough physical exercises, particularly a concept where you lay the baby on their stomach in order to strengthen their back muscles. I asked my mom how much of this she did with me and my siblings. She responded with a shrug, “I don’t know. You all just crawled eventually, I guess.” I never worried about it again.

3. Relax

It’s ok to be tired. There is a golden zone between the newborn and the infant. Newborn babies never sleep, they always cry, and your hormones are so out of control that it really doesn’t make a difference. Then there is a period of relative calm. Around three months, baby sleeps a good portion of the day, and you are able to have some time to yourself to work or do housework, or even (imagine!) sit down and watch some TV. And then teething happens. Nap time disappears. You feel yourself sliding back into the Twilight Zone of Orajel and Tylenol, gas drops and Gripe Water. But this is your second time into the trenches, so don’t let it get you down. Take some time to relax when you get the chance. Trust me, the laundry will wait.

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