In recent years, it is right to say that the number of divorce among married couples has gone up and to those that have children it is often a stressful time for them. There has been an immense amount of research done on the propensity of stress that befalls the children that witness the separation of their parents. Psychologist Doctor Carl Pickhardt took up an interest in the topic after an email request to assess how divorce affects small children. He published an article The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents on the Psychology Today website in 2011, to help distinguish the general ways in which children aged between 8 to 9 years old react when their parents divorce in comparison to adolescent children. Carl begins his analysis with consideration of how massive a change it is for the young boys and girls at any age to witness a divorce process in their family. He characterizes the scenario in a very easy to understand manner, where he describes the resultant situation that is expected after a divorce. The adjustment the children have to make, being pulled back and forth between households and the daily nonappearance of one parent creates a challenging environment for the children. He uses this as a reality to capture the attention of his reader and makes the situation sound more personal and closer to the human society that is witnessed today. The introduction becomes his basis for argument and draws in the readers perception of the issue at hand and solidifies his credibility with a strong opening argument.
Carl assesses the responses from the two different stages of the children being focused in the discussion. In young children, the response that divorce has on them is that of dependence, while in that of the adolescent is independence. There is also a more regressive response from the children and stimulates an aggressive response for the teenage children. It is an apparent disparity between the two age groups and draws further scope to the issue than what is seen at the surface. He presents a more professional approach to the matter in discussion and increases supplementary contemplation from the reader. His argument reaches beyond what was thought about divorce and its impact on children. The differentiated response from the two age bracket of children is argued to be a result of a heavy reliance on parental care before the divorce. He suggests the family bond forms a major focus of the social life of an individual. The adolescents life is more independent, and usually more separated from the parents where they become more attached to their friends. In contrast, the young child is still attached to the parents and has a high level of dependency. He demonstrates how a young childs trust is shaken up due to the lack of dependence on the parents after they separate. The surgical division of the whole family into two households leaves the child learning to adapt to the transit from one household to another. Carl builds a strong argument on the level of insecurity and instability that usually has on the child and the emotional stresses that occur.
In his argument, the impact of divorce now turns its attention on the child focusing and living in a fantasy of the way that dad and mom will be back together and living in the same house. The reliance on wishful thinking is much longer for the child compared to the adolescent who accepts the fate of the situation much quicker. Hence, when the family gets back together for a family event or a holiday, it becomes harder for the child to move on from that fantasy, which is a problem.
Throughout the article, Carl employs adamant arguments to support his thesis and also his credibility in the knowledge of the field of family psychology. As a psychologist, his examples are very articulated and offer an excellent framework for understanding the dynamics of the impacts of divorce on children and adolescents. It is a topic that has been researched a lot, but he brings his ideas and theories to the table, offering a new dimension of looking at the case. He appeals to logos, using facts and strong examples to argue his statement and thesis. It is also easy for the reader to follow the piece as it has a gradual build up with different arguments framed in various well-flowing paragraphs.
His conclusion to the discussion is one of a high point and suggests that an adolescent will likely have a more aggressive response to divorce, and will often react in an angry manner passed as a form of a grievance. The other conclusion is for the children who build up trust issues from the heartbreak caused by divorce. He gives advice and recommendation in his article on how parents even though have divorced, should recreate rituals that they used to have, for the children and adolescents to have more control of their lives.
Pichardt, E. Carl, Ph.D. "The Impact of Divorce on Young Children and Adolescents." Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 19 Dec. 2011. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.
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