Parents experiencing marital strife often think that admitting defeat and splitting up will unsettle their offspring and cause unhappiness. In fact, a comprehensive study on the matter actually suggests the opposite. Staying together for the sake of your children isn’t necessarily helping.
Children who live with arguing parents in a tense situation are far more affected by that than they are if they are living in a single parent household. Research conducted by the Children’s Society shows that youngsters living in a happy family atmosphere are 20 per cent happier than those who do not, irrespective of whether they live with a single parents, step parent or their birth parents.
Research looked into factors such as happiness in children immediately after a change in the family structure, it found that the aftermath of situations such as gaining a step parents or the divorce of birth parents makes the child 10 per cent more unhappy, with living with a single parent only causing 2 per cent unhappiness.
These findings come at a time when both Labour and the Conservatives have put a family policy at the centre of their pre general election campaigns. David Cameron has pledged to make tax breaks for married couples an important part of his plans to tackle Britain’s “broken society”.
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