- Not using the children as message carriers between parents
- Giving the children permission to love both parents, wherever they go in life.
The popular media makes a healthy profit on promoting disaster, and casting everything possible in the language of disaster. “Shocking!” and “Horrifying!” are two words we see all too often. Regarding divorce, the popular media has created disaster myths around such topics as: failure of children (depression, suicide, academic failure, juvenile delinquency), financial failure, higher divorce statistics, etc. What is the truth? To begin with, the United States divorce rate among the general population has been misinterpreted and exaggerated – it is not 50% and growing, and may in fact be 40% or less. Rates are even lower among college educated couples in the United States and may be less than 30%! This means that the chance for marital success in a second marriage may much higher than you think, especially if college education is factored in. Hollywood celebrities and other limited criteria skew the divorce statistics quoted by the media. With respect to children, there are few long-term studies about the impact of divorce (specifically, 3 studies in the United States), and they do not determine disaster for children. The most recent studies indicate that it is the level of marital conflict – NOT divorce – which spells failure for children. What are the factors which can impact children in a positive way? These studies seem to point to two major protective factors: