Divorce Can Be Good for the Kids

Elle Silver

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The statistics aren’t good for the children of divorced parents. Kids from broken homes are more likely to become depressed, get into drugs, and commit suicide. At least this is what the statistics will have you believe. You name it, every bad thing that can happen to a kid happens to those whose parents get divorced.

But what if I told you that after leaving my husband, my kids' lives actually improved? My children not only became happier as a result of my divorce from their father, but they started doing better in school.

I'm here to tell you that divorce can actually be good for the children. It was good for mine.

Don't believe the myth that divorce is always disastrous for kids. It's not. My children are happier at home and more successful in school as the result of my divorcing their father.

Married, my husband and I were always arguing and our kids were failing in school.

By the end of my marriage to my now ex-husband, all we did was bicker. This was a terrible situation for our kids to be growing up in.

Not only was it misery-provoking to live in such an acrimonious household, but I was depressed and so I wasn't being the kind of mother that my kids needed.

I was often angry and irritable. I wasn't a very nice person to be around. I also wasn't able to deal with my children's academic concerns. Both of my kids were failing in school.

My younger son, six-years-old, was hopelessly behind in reading. Yes, he was only in the first grade, but the other kids were sailing past him academically.

My eight-year-old son was having his own problems. He had earned the notorious title of “the worst behaved kid in the class.” This was literally what his teacher told me. She didn’t say it out of hostility but out of concern.

My eight-year-old was constantly disrupting his class and refused to do his schoolwork. He sat in his chair, bouncing rhythmically, shaking his head back and forth. He talked out of turn and was defiant with adults.

I am sure that our chaotic home life was negatively impacting both of my kids' learning potential and their behavior at school. Unfortunately, I couldn't help them improve because my attention was being consumed by my issues with their father.

I became happier after leaving my husband. As a result, my sons did, too.

I finally worked up the courage to leave my husband. Yes, this was a terrifying decision but it was for the best. I moved my sons with me into a new apartment. Almost immediately, they became happier.

Want to know why? Because I became happier.

“You’re eighty-percent nicer now, Mama,” my eldest son told me just a week after our move. What he really meant was that I was eighty-percent less irritable and unhappy. That was within just ONE WEEK of leaving their father.

How much nicer would I be the next week or the next? Much nicer. Before long, I was one-hundred happier and therefore nicer.

That meant my sons became happier, too.

They told me so. Both my boys mentioned that they were more content living in a place without so much arguing. I also witnessed their newfound cheeriness in their smiling faces and relaxed mood.

Of course, my kids were happier now. I was easier to be around. My happiness was and is crucial to my children's wellbeing. If I'm miserable, my bad mood rubs off on my kids.

If I'm depressed, they're depressed, too. So you can imagine what staying married to my husband was doing to my children. Preoccupied with my own sadness and anger, I was also unable to tend to my kids' needs.

My only solution was to divorce their father. Only then did all of our lives start to improve.

After my divorce, my kids began to do better in school.

Once I left my husband, I became not only a nicer and happier mother, but I could finally start focusing on my sons' scholastic issues. I took both of my sons to see psychologists and also psychiatrists.

My youngest son was diagnosed with autism and Attention-Deficit Disorder and my eldest was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Now I understood the deeper reason why they were both failing in school.

Yes, our homelife had something to do with it. Living amongst all that emotional strife was affecting my kids' performance in school. But now I also understood that they had learning disabilities. No wonder they were doing so poorly.

I listened to the doctors' recommendations and agreed to fill prescriptions for medication for my sons. My youngest was prescribed Adderall and my eldest started taking Ritalin.

Whatever you think about children taking medications for their learning disabilities, these medications have helped my sons to actually be able to learn. For one, both can finally sit still long enough to focus on their schoolwork. This was one of the critical missing parts holding them back from academic success.

It doesn't hurt that I'm calmer so I transmit more tranquility to my children. That has further helped them to relax and open themselves up to learn better at school.

My eldest is no longer infamous as the most poorly behaved child in his classroom. Instead, he’s famous for reading novels on the playground and bringing home almost perfect scores on his report card.

My youngest has gone from being chronically behind to reading at grade level. Just last night, he fell asleep, reading Harry Potter.

Now that both boys are finally able to concentrate because of their medication, coupled with a happier home life, they've made incredible strides in school. But these improvements only happened after I left their father.

Divorce is what improved my children's lives.

The takeaway.

Many people will still argue that only in a two-parent home can children grow into healthy, happy adults. I don’t agree. In my case, staying married was only hurting my kids.

My children were growing up in an unhappy home with parents who constantly argued. To make matter worse, I wasn’t able to get my kids the academic help they needed because I was so worn down from all the fighting with their dad.

All that changed once I left my marriage. Finally, I could start giving my kids exactly what they needed.

I’m so glad that I left my marriage. It was the best decision for my kids. They’re happier and more successful today as a result.

I am, too.

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I'm a relationships expert with a focus on post-divorce dating and family. Everything I've learned about love, I've learned the hard way. You can learn from my mistakes.

Los Angeles, CA
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