The potential dangers of ‘staying together for the kids’

America’s celebrity-obsessed culture often devotes a lot of media attention to the family law issues facing the rich and famous. This is in spite of the fact that most celebrities have little reason to be considered relationship role models.

But there are rare instances in which celebrities have wisdom to share. Recently, rising star Anna Kendrick discussed the issue of a divorce from a viewpoint that many can relate to. Like many kids of her generation, Kendrick is a child of divorce.

According to an interview with the actress in Fashion Magazine, Kendrick’s parents divorced when she was 15 years old. While divorce is hard on the whole family, Kendrick said she is grateful to her parents for not staying in an unhappy relationship. She noted that “I really reject the idea of staying together for the kids. If they’re growing up in a house that’s not healthy, it’s better to know that’s not the model of what marriage should be.”

Put another way, parents who stay married only because they have children run the risk of perpetuating “this warped idea of what a healthy relationship looks like,” Kendrick added.

It is also important to remember that most kids intuitively know how their parents are feeling. If their mom and dad are always tense, angry, stressed and depressed, many kids will absorb those emotions and internalize them. That’s not a healthy environment to grow up in.

Divorce is difficult on kids and it can contribute to social, academic and personal problems. But this outcome is far from guaranteed. In fact, many children of divorce manage to heal and even thrive as they grow older. How parents help their children cope is often the biggest predictor of their long-term emotional wellbeing.

Source: Yahoo, “3 Reasons Divorce May Not Be So Bad for Your Kids,” Lambeth Hochwald, Jan. 10, 2015

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