How children suffer when their parents separate

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How children suffer when their parents separate
How children suffer when their parents separate

Victims of Divorce

A separation of parents can negatively affect the development of children. It helps a lot when mother and father remain a team when it comes to child-rearing issues.

Luisa Arndt was 13 years old when her parents separated. She can hardly remember the conversation that changed her life. She was probably just out of school. Maybe she was in her room, maybe in the kitchen. Anyway, her parents sat down with her and told her that soon they wouldn't live together anymore, that her father was moving out and that she should think about who she wanted to live with.

Her parents remained absolutely calm, and so Luisa Arndt remained absolutely calm, at least on the outside. There were no screams or tears - and perhaps this lack of emotion is one of the reasons why the now 32-year-old remembers the event so badly. Even when she decided to move in with her father, her mother remained calm. "The decision itself was pragmatic," says Arndt today, "because I knew I could do more with him." Her sister, who is nine years her junior, stayed with her mother, and a few days after the conversation she and her father looked at the first apartment. It was a strange feeling, Arndt recalls. There was no clear regulation as to when she and her sister should see the other parent.

Separations like that of the Arndts are part of everyday life in Germany: According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 120,000 minors experienced the divorce of their parents in 2018. Although that is less than in previous years, the marriage rate has also fallen here in this country. Many men and women today start a family without being married. Since their separation does not appear in the official federal statistics, there are likely to be significantly more parents living separately in Germany overall…

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