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Lost Hope:

THE IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON CHILD’S WELLBEING

By Abu KamaraPublished 5 months ago 6 min read
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Lost Hope:
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

The rate of divorce in the world is alarming, especially among the Christian population and it has adversely impacted the education of children. Global Divorce statistics indicates that:

• In the US, 42-45% of first marriages end in divorce.

• There were 780,000 divorces conducted in the US in 2018.

• Maldives is the country with the highest divorce rate with 10.97 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants per year. Followed by Belarus and the US with 4.63 and 4.34 respectively.

• In 2002, 54.9% of new marriages ended in divorce in Sweden.

• The divorce rate in Europe increased from 0.8 per 1,000 persons in 1965 to 1.9 in 2016.

• In 2017, the distribution of the number of divorces in France showed that 33,456 of pronounced divorces were by mutual consent.

• According to data, 82% of respondents in a survey conducted in Italy believed that sometimes divorce is necessary while 18% said that divorce is evil.

• The Philippines and Vatican City are the only two remaining nations where divorce is not allowed.

    • In 2016, Portugal and Luxembourg were ranked 1st and 2nd in Europe with the highest divorce rates registered at 69 and 66 for every 100 marriages, respectively.

    • Crude divorce rates were highest in Kazakhstan in Asia Pacific with an estimated 3 divorces per 1,000 people in 2016.

    • The divorce rate in China has climbed to 3.2 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants in 2018.

    https://comparecamp.coms Retrieved at 1.38am on the 1st of February, 2022

    Many children around the world have got to grow up without the emotional attachment and financial supports from both parents. Zinn & Etzin (1999) as cited in Aster Shibeshi (2015) noted that following parental divorce, children are encountered psychological problems like depression, trauma, anxiety and unhappiness. According to Markham (2013) as cited in Aster Shibeshi (2015) divorce has both short and long term effects: if the parental divorced children are too young to understand the situation fully they might feel guilty or responsible for the divorce. In the short term effect they become increasingly aggressive, violent, uncooperative, and emotionally become needy.

    The above is true as most of these children struggled their ways into the harsh economic systems of their country to make ends meet. This has resorted to many of them dropping out of school, joining bad companies, becoming pick pockets, drug traffickers, alcohol abusers’ ghetto boys, and so on. Proverbially, a misspent child will degenerate into a tragic old age. The country stands to lose vital human capital; these children would have grown up to be formidable supports to the entire society, but now turn out as menaces to society.

    Marriage itself was ordained by God as the first institution when He crated Eve from Adam to be a helping mate. Women are therefore supposed to be helping mates to men when they get married. In Genesis 2:24 ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. This is basically talking about oneness in the family. Because God knew that divorce would have negative impact on the family and children, He forbids it, except on the basis of marital infidelity/unfaithfulness.

    Divorce is different from separation, even though both have their downsides on family growth. According to Webster, divorce is an action of legally dissolving a marriage. When people divorce the chances of getting back together are very slime. But when they separate they can be easily joined together at any moment they choose to. Separation occurs when the couple decides live apart for a while until they are able to settle their misunderstanding. Separated couples have their marriage intact. A divorce is a permanent end of the relationship or marriage. Sometimes, divorce occurs because of deception. When both or one of the parties are/is not getting what was initially expected prior to the beginning of the marriage, a divorce or separation can easily find it way through.

    A quarrelsome relationship will either end in separation or divorce. A relationship where the partners always behave violently to each other has the propensity of braking. Sometimes, family negligence or neglect by either of the couple can provoke a divorce or separation. Children born in such relationship are often faced with a lot of social stigmas. Less attention will be often paid to children that are in divorced homes; they can go without adequate food for days, sometimes, the father will refuse providing for the home because he has a quarrel with his wife. This is transfer of aggression. This will affect their health, income, and education. No child can feel safe and happy in a quarrelsome home, where the father and the mother are always at logger head or dagga drawn with each other. This has led some children especially girls to jump to the streets to fend for themselves, a recipe for early marriage, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse and many social vices. The possibility of children from divorced homes to get divorced in their own marriages is glaring because they entered into such marriages under abnormal situations. Early marriage can therefore be a pre-condition for the high rate of divorce in the world today.

    What is more appalling is that women are sometimes left with the burden to care for the children after being divorced. Fathers will have to abandon their children to be raised by wives without any supports. On this note, it will be nice if the state sets up terms of conditions guiding divorce so that husbands/men can still fully take up their responsibilities in the upbringing of their children even in divorce. The children should not be made to suffer for something they never anticipated for.

    Divorce rate is very high among the Christian population. This has negatively impacted the education, health including the nutritional health, social engagements of children. Children are unable to properly adjust themselves to the society due to the stigma they are exposed to. The school environments are no longer safe for children whose parents are divorced. They have been socially withdrawn from the normal functioning of the school system and excluded from interacting with peers. If this continues the society will become a mere waist, because a misspent child will degenerate into a tragic old age. Chinua Achebe notes in his “Things Fall Apart” that “where are the young suckers that will grow when the old banana tries die?” This is a very salient rhetoric question asked by Achebe when he realizes that the children are not well taken care off by the society. Recommendations

    As a means to minimize the rate of divorce in the study area, the following have been recommended:

• Maintenance fees for children to be enforced on divorced parents. This will minimize the sufferings children of divorced parents are exposed to.

• State to increase charges on divorce as a mean to scared away couples for filing in for divorce

• State sponsors activities for children whose parents are divorced. This will help children retain in school, take care of the nutritional health and be socially connected with their peers.

• Continuous engagement with children whose parents are divorced. This will minimize the feeling of stigmatization, and social exclusion.

• Stop extra marital affairs. This was identified as one of the causes of divorce and so can be avoided when partners or couples decide to be faithful to each other.

• Abolition of Early Marriage. Early marriage was also identified as a cause of divorce. If the government state and enforce age limits on marriage will minimize the high rate of divorce experienced by teenagers who venture into early marriage.

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About the Creator

Abu Kamara

Mr. Abu Kamara holds a master of Arts Degree in Peace and Development Studies from Njala University Bo Campus with 8As and 4Bs in various courses. He also holds a FirstClass undergraduate degree with Honours in Social Work. He is a lecturer

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