When Parents Split

Kids are often stuck in the middle when parents split.

About 40 to 50 percent of couples in the United States get a divorce and half of all children in America will witness the ending of their parents marriage. The possible lasting effects of divorce on
children, teens and adults can lead to unhealthy relationships with their future significant others, anxiety or depression, and the inability to trust people.

The minds of children and teenagers are very impressionable and this vast change in their life can result in a plethora of feelings. However, getting a divorce is completely normal and despite its negative effects on families, it can enable adults to feel more liberated and happy.

“I felt like I had no control over the situation, which made it very frustrating. Trying to make sense of it also caused a whole set of feelings. It was very overwhelming at first knowing that the two
people you saw grow together and start a family were no longer going to do that anymore,” said Sofia Keshawarz, a senior instrumental major at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA).

Sofia’s parents have been divorced since December of 2018. Sofia is an only child and is the center of her parents lives. They do everything for her and spend an abundant amount of time with her, from taking her to ballet classes when she was in elementary school to coming to FSSA to watch her perform.

She felt as though because she was an only child that the divorce seemed more lonely and felt as if there was no one in her family that she could confide in.

Many times the child of divorced parents feel as if they have to choose a side. They could grow closer to one parent and push away the other. The child might not want to seclude one parent over the
other, but sometimes it just presents itself because of certain circumstances.

“Throughout the journey I never felt as though I had to choose a side, but overtime I naturally grew closer with one parent than the other. It had nothing to do with them as individuals, but the situation
inevitably did that,” Sofia said.

Jesdelson Vasquez is also a senior instrumental major at FSSA. His parents got a divorce when he was about 10 years old. He explained how difficult it was for him being so young and being introduced to
the topic of divorce. He did not really understand what divorce actually meant and felt a lot of uncertainty and powerless at times. during this confusing and difficult time Jesdelson confided in his brother and sought comfort and advice.

“I don’t necessarily feel as if I picked a side, it was more like having to make the difficult decision on where I would want to live. So in some ways I guess I picked a side however it wasn’t really
based solely on what I wanted, more on it being convenient,” Jesdelson said.

Some people assume that if one has parents who are divorced then they will have relationship issues in the future.

“Having divorced parents has definitely impacted my relationship with my significant other. Many root causes of the problems we have stem from the divorce of my parents. Having trust in a
relationship is way harder when having divorced parents,” Sofia said.

On the other hand, Jesdelson feels that his parents’ hardships have not affected his relationships with his significant others because they are completely different from him. He explained that just because his parents ultimately ended up splitting up doesn’t mean that he has or will go down the same path as they did.

“I guess my parents’ relationship subconsciously reflects in my own. I’ve never been exposed to what a healthy relationship looks like so I had to learn that through trial and error,” said another senior instrumental major at FSSA who wished to remain anonymous.

Her parents separated when she was about 11 years old. She stated that when they had first announced that they were going to file for a divorce, she was pretty upset and it was hard for her to adjust in the beginning, but as time passed she became more comfortable with the idea of her parents not being together. She also said that the divorce barely impacted her school achievements and tasks.

However, Sofia, the senior, found that her parents’ separation made her work harder in school and her grades were at an all time high.

“Ironically, when the divorce first happened, my school work was better than it had ever been. People would assume the opposite to happen, considering this big of a change in my life. I used the split
as a distraction from my life at home. I was able to turn a bad situation into a good one through my grades,” Sofia said.

Ultimately, divorces aren’t pretty for anyone or any family. A magnitude of feelings and emotions are involved and sometimes children of the divorced parents suffer the most. However, teenagers and children can learn to adapt to their new family lifestyle. Overtime, they adjust and start to become more comfortable with the idea that their parents are no longer together.

– by Genesis Aldea 19