In this week’s blog post we wanted to ask our frequent readers a question they may not have considered before. The question stems from a recent survey conducted by a parenting website called Netmums, which asked parents and children what affect a divorce had on them. But even though both adults and children are going through the divorce together, the answers provided in the survey prove that they are not having the same experience and that many parents are unaware of how the divorce is really affecting their children.
Of the 1,000 parents and 100 children who were surveyed, less than one percent of parents were aware that their child had turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the divorce. Not so surprising to many was the fact that while many parents felt that their children were coping perfectly with their divorce (approximately 77 percent responded this way), 39 percent of children admitted that they were hiding their true feelings and only about 18 percent of children said they were happy that their parents had separated.
Some of the more startling statistics found by the survey were the number of children who experienced severe depression because of a divorce and the number of parents who were unaware of this fact. Eleven percent of children polled admitted to engaging in self-harm while approximately six percent say they considered suicide. Much like the parents whose children were drinking and using drugs to cope with the divorce, only about one percent of parents knew that their children were using self-harm as a way of coping with the situation.
While this survey only shows a snapshot of a small number of families going through divorce, the findings might make some of our readers wonder the impact their own divorce is having on their children. Perhaps their own situation will not be as tumultuous, but if it is, addressing it now could prevent it from spiraling and creating more problems down the road.
Source: My Fox Philly, “New Survey Sheds Light On Real Impact Of Divorce,” Dec. 30, 2013