It’s clear that we now live in the data age. So much information can be recorded, stored and analyzed that researchers are now able to observe behavior patterns like never before. Whether all of these studies are valuable, however, is a matter of some debate.
As just one example, a recent study found that children whose parents recently separated or divorced are more likely to drink sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda) than children living in homes with still-married parents. Although the results of this study are arguably trivial, the study itself does highlight an important truth about stability during times of transition.
The study results are arguably trivial because even though it is important for parents to ensure that their children have healthy diets, this concern is probably fairly low on the list of priorities during a divorce. When you are worried about simply maintaining custody of your children, you are probably less worried about how much soda they may be drinking.
That being said, the study results do provide an important reminder for parents going through a divorce. According to the researchers, children may be drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages during this time because their daily routines have been disrupted. These disruptions can cause children and parents to prioritize convenience and immediate satisfaction over more abstract goals such as health.
The study reminds us that during a divorce or legal separation, it is important to maintain a stable home life for the kids as much as possible. This includes eating meals together, spending quality time together and continuing to enforce long-standing rules. A consistent routine is a comfort to children (and adults) during times of uncertainty.
Helping your children cope with divorce can be as simple as making sure that they continue to follow their daily routines. And if they have a stable home life but occasionally drink an extra sugar-sweetened beverage, maybe that’s just a sign that kids will be kids.
Source: MedicalXpress.com, “Divorce fuels sugary beverage consumption, study finds,” March 3, 2015