Charles B., 16 y.o. child of divorce, writes about: "The Challenges"
Divorce does not just end at the spouse's breach, it is a break that affects the whole family involved. Therefore I can safely say that divorce has had a direct influence on my life. It is a topic that has not only affected me upon its initial transaction, but as the years have gone on.
The divorce in my family occurred in 1999, when I was 12 years old. The result was that I was to live with my mother and then two-year-old sister. Looking back on the primary shock, I can say that the biggest change transpired then. It seems that I had to omit some of childhood's enjoyment and go right to being a responsible adolescent. For example, I acquired my first job two weeks after my fourteenth birthday, the earliest age upon which a person can receive their working papers.
On more of a personal level, it has been particularly hard growing up from a boy to a young man. I was never one of those children who had a "camping trip with dad" or was "painting with dad". These were all things that I had to do on my own. This lack of experience still has its effects today.
It still seems that even today I am the one in the household who must complete the so-called "man" tasks of the house. In doing this, it has always hurt me that I had to teach myself how to complete these jobs and I had no male figure there to guide me. The only way I ever learned was by teaching myself. Often in my self-taught lessons I have become frustrated and depressed on the whole situation. Another situation that is particularly hard for me is seeing fathers with their children all over the place. Seeing this is a very depressing sight for me, making me feel as if I have missed a part of my childhood.
However, I find that the ultimate dilemma comes in the area of not being involved in the parent's post divorce business. As hard as a child attempts to stay away or as hard as the parent tries to shield their child from the problems, I believe and have witnessed that the child is affected by these proceedings.
The problem really comes in the part that the child is not really aware off what is going on and just acts on instinct and makes rational decisions concerning the outlook they have on their parents. While with either parent, sooner or later the child is going to be affected by one parent "trash-talking" the other parent. This can completely change the way a child views mother or father.
I have witnessed and firmly believe that this hurts a child psychologically. The parent's poor example can lead the child to trust no one, which is a feeling that I can recall feeling at a time, and provide the child with an example that rational decisions must be made on everyone they meet.
I believe that the statement "The Best Parent is Both Parents" is very accurate, based on my experience as a product of a divorced family. Nonetheless I affirm that this situation can have a positive effect on the child, it shows them that later on in life they can be a better parent and spouse alike, to prevent their children from experiencing the same hurt they did.
Charles was one of the 3 winners of the CRC Teen Essay Contest. See more of the CRC Teen Essay Contest.