THE EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN: EXPLANATION OF THE ONTOLOGICAL CRISIS AND PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR CAREGIVING
Gawel, Walter Joseph IV
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The objective of this paper is to inform the reader about the unique challenges that children of divorced parents face. This paper will focus on the evolution of marriage from the 17th century to present day and how this shift has led to a marital disaster in our culture. It will also examine the loss of self, experienced by the child and common external manifestations of this inner struggle. The goal of this paper is not to deal with the symptoms of the loss of self, but to examine the root cause. Understanding basic principles will help pastors give the care needed in the divorce situation. Lastly, the paper will provide insight and practical tips for the pastor to employ while seeking to give spiritual and social guidance to the young adults and children affected by divorce in their congregations. Because the pastor will not be the only person helping the child through this painful time, there also is advice in the body of this paper for the parents, family members, and friends looking for tools to help fill the support network of the child.