There were 1,182,000 divorces in the United States in 1990 alone. Many of these divorces involved children of all ages, from infants to adolescents. Parents who are getting a divorce are frequently worried about the effect the divorce will have on their children. During this complicated time, parents may be preoccupied with their own problems, but they need to realize that through the divorce they continue to be the most important people in their children's lives. Just because the parents are having tough times the children still look up to them and view them as their parents, like they always have.
While parents may be devastated or feel some sense of relief by the divorce, children are often frightened and confused by the threat to their security; they are scared because their life may never be the same as it has always been. The protective blanket that they have always had is being torn apart and they do not know how they are supposed to react. Children often fear change, and divorce brings about many changes. These changes include everything from schedules to holiday activities. They will have schedules of when they live with which parent and they will have to adjust to how things are run at both houses. If one or both of the parents remarry they will have to change again and learn to adapt again. Divorce brings about a lot of undeserved stress on the children of the divorce. Some parent's feel so hurt or weighed down by the divorce that they may turn to the child for comfort or direction. Children can misinterpret divorce unless the parents take the time and put in the effort to tell them what is happening, how they are involved and not involved and what will happen to them.
Children often believe they have caused the conflict between their mother and father even though this is rarely or never the case. Many children try to take on the responsibility for bringing their parents back together.