There’s no getting around the fact that divorce affects every member of the affected family. If you’re a parent with multiple children, you may have concerns about how the siblings will react.
No two divorce cases – or families, for that matter – are exactly alike, so reactions will depend upon the individual. However, a study from a New England college suggests that the bond between siblings may actually become stronger for some during the divorce process.
In this issue, the San Diego men’s divorce lawyers with the Men’s Legal Center will talk more about the study and its meanings.
Who conducted the study about siblings and divorce?
Several years ago, researchers with Smith College in Massachusetts delved into the topic of what they call “the power of the sibling relationship” – a topic few knew about previously.
Specifically, researchers wanted to examine the role siblings play in the lives of one another while coping with the impact of their parents’ divorce.
For the study, they interviewed now-adult siblings whose parents divorced when they were children.
What were the findings from the study?
As you may expect there were mixed results, with many positive stories and some that were not-so-positive.
Here’s a summary of the positive results.
- The comfort of having someone with whom to share emotions and thoughts. For many respondents, the realization of not having to go through the divorce process alone made it easier for them to cope. Just having someone to confide in can mean wonders.
- A source of stability. The divorce process interrupts the familiarity of routine. Suddenly, both parents aren’t living under the same roof and there’s a bit of shuffling between multiple places. A sibling can be a bedrock of stability in a world suddenly filled with chaos.
- Support from someone who knows. One of the study’s most often cited benefits is the feeling of moral support and encouragement of a sibling. Being able to count on someone who is going through the exact same thing in the exact same circumstances is invaluable – especially to a child’s mental health.
Of course, there was some negative feedback from the participants as well.
- One parent favoring a child. Even if it’s at the subconscious level, showing preferential treatment for one child can do irreparable harm to their sibling. According to the study, the result is often an increased distance and a feeling of friction among the siblings.
- Parents not communicating. Even though the divorce has ended the marriage, it’s still the job of both parents to look after their children. During this time, it’s even more important for a parent to encourage siblings to love and support each other.
For More Resources on the Family Dynamic During and After Divorce, Call the Men’s Legal Center in San Diego.
Divorce is rarely an easy thing, especially when children are concerned. As a family law firm, the Men’s Legal Center is committed to keeping those family bonds strong long after the divorce has been finalized.
Feel free to search our site for a host of online parental resources.