UNITED STATES—This is a topic I’ve wanted to talk about for years, but never really knew the perspective/approach I wanted to take until now. Let’s just address the elephant in the room: divorce. Divorce happens in this county, a lot more than people expect and it has an impact on children more than parents realize. I am a child of divorced parents, and I was 7 when my parents got divorced and it was contentious form what I can remember.

There was constant arguing, expletives dropped and just really bad tension in the house. As a kid, you want your parents to be together because you become accustomed to seeing mom and dad each morning, and when that dynamic changes it messes with the psyche of the child. I remember for years it was so odd having my dad come to his former house to pick me and my siblings up. We would always spend the weekends with my dad for as long as I can remember.

We’d come home Sunday before school and just adjusting to that dynamic was not easy. As you get older it becomes easier, but it was never something you normalize. As I got older, I can understand why my parents divorced, it wasn’t healthy to be in such an environment with two adults constantly arguing, especially for kids. I wish I knew that as a child so I didn’t hold that against my father or mother thinking each were to blame for the situation when that was not the case at all people.

You get older and wiser, and I think I wish my parents would have had a sit down with me and my siblings to actually discuss what was happening instead of kids trying to fill in the blanks and make sense as to what was transpiring people. That is not easy for a child to make sense as to what a divorce entails, what is happening with their parents and how this changes the family dynamic and relationships.

I’ll be first to admit, a divorce changes relationships between siblings, and parents and family in general. I know with other members of family I was extremely protective of my father if they attempted to bad talk him, the same with my mother. I don’t think people realize you have to be careful what you say to and around children because they internalize those emotions and it can have a devastating impact on their development.

My brother for example, has always held a grudge against my father, and as child I slightly understood it, but as an adult it was done out of necessity and it’s a go to my brother attempts to use to explain his actions and behavior which I am not a fan of at all. At some point you have to grow up, learn and behave accordingly. Divorce is something that is always going to transpire in America, it just happens.

People get married way too early, they don’t know their significant another like they think they do, and other issues take effect (finances, cheating, job loss and so much more). You have to deal with the adjustment of stepmoms and stepdads which is never easy when you’re used to seeing your parents together and now they’re with someone else. However, the best advice I can give is that it of course gets better and as long as the individual coming into your father or mother’s life is aware they take on the kids as well, then all will be well.

I have unfortunately heard tales of kids not being accepting to the step parent or the step parent not willing to deal with the children. That is never a sign of success people, it only lingers and gets worse over time. Explain to the kids what is going on; explain to your significant other how vital your children are and I think all will be well in due time, but ignoring the conversation is the problem. You cannot do that with kids because they will not understand and if they don’t understand they can lash out and that is never healthy people.

Divorce is not easy for anyone and the more we talk about it the realization comes to the forefront that it’s not as bad as we like to deem it. This is not to say some divorces are not contentious and downright nasty because they are, but this is also to highlight that in some divorces it’s for the better for the parents and the kids and that is something we should highlight and discuss a lot more than we do.

Written By Jason Jones