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Poll suggests parents get a clue about divorce impact on kids

The end of one year and the start of another offers an opportunity for some significant reflection. Indeed, Socrates is typically credited with saying that an unexamined life is not worth living.

But in the arena of family law, there is the reality that the focus of such an examination can't just be limited to oneself. This is particularly true for divorced parents in Ohio. There are children that deserve to be considered. And if one new poll is accurate, it appears there may be a lot of parents in the dark about the ill effects divorce has on the kids.

The survey is the work of a British parenting website called Netmums.com. The survey might come up short on methodology for the taste of some statistical experts, but the information it contains is still worth noting.

The organization surveyed some 1,000 parents and about 100 children in separate polls. Here are some of the findings:

  • One in 12 children felt thrust into a role of caring for a parent through the break up.
  • 35% of the child respondents claimed there were efforts by at least one parent to alienate them against the other.
  • 13% of children felt responsible for the divorce.
  • One in nine youngsters reported they had indulged in some form of self-harm as a result of the divorce.
  • 6 percent considered suicide.

Meanwhile, parent respondents seemed unaware of the issues their kids were wrestling with.

  • 77 percent of parents said they believed the children were coping just fine.
  • Only 5 percent of parents indicated awareness that their children blamed themselves for the split.

Despite the transparency of child respondents about their negative coping techniques (alcohol use or other self harming), only 1 percent of parents reported they knew about it.

Source: WTXF-TV, "New Survey Sheds Light On Real Impact Of Divorce," Dec. 30, 2013
Source: Netmums, "Get families talking about separating," undated

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