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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Effects of divorce on students

Effects of divorce on students

Based on a recent Nordic News survey of 85 Inglemoor students, 38.8% have divorced parents. According to the Center for Divorce Education, divorce can have a heavy emotional toll, with stress, anxiety and upheaval at home. Divorce can impact many areas of students’ lives, such as adding the need to spread their already limited time between two houses.

“When you’re in a single home, you have family obligations, but when you have two separate homes, you double that time,” senior Alden Chhan (he/him) said. “My parents — their houses are completely different in not just size, but how they like the rules or the environment.”

While freshman Sarah Pradeep (she/her) has always been distant from her dad, the divorce caused his transition to becoming a more open person. In contrast, her mom was very emotionally open, but after the divorce, Pradeep’s relationship with her got worse.

“Before the divorce, there’s always this kind of feeling that we were family, even if they argued all the time. We still have the pictures,” Pradeep said, “Now that they’re separated, there’s just no kind of resemblance of that and I think it really hit hard.”

After English teacher Marita White (she/her) divorced her husband, she decided to cut off nearly all contact and communication with him. White’s daughter has had to deal with the loss of permanence as she moves back and forth between her two houses.

“It’s quite a long distance between where both her parents live. And so for her, I think it’s really impacted her ability to regulate emotions, function at school, but I can’t speak for her entirely,” White said.

White, who began her teaching career at Inglemoor on the same day that she started the divorce process, said she knows firsthand the struggles that students with divorced parents face. 

“It was super hard; it affected my academics. Eventually, my sophomore year when we were choosing classes and stuff for our junior year, I was planning on doing full IB, and at the time, I just had so much going on. I really thought I couldn’t do it. So I didn’t sign up for full IB, and it’s one of my biggest regrets,” senior Caroline Sheehan (she/her) said.

Sheehan’s relationship with her parents had changed a lot, and the environment she was in greatly affected her academics. Similarly, sophomore Jamie Brown (she/her), whose parents divorced and later remarried, said that the dynamic of her life was constantly changing. Friends who understood the situation she was in had really helped her recover, but transitioning between houses always takes up time.

“My dad lives further away, so I can’t hang out with my friends when I was my dad. So it’s hard. It kinda makes it so I can only hang out with people on certain days.” Brown said.

Brown said that if she wants to go on a vacation or a summer camp and her parents aren’t on speaking terms, she has to be a messenger between her parents to coordinate the trip. Essentially, Brown has to carry out the conversation for her parents. Chhan emphasizes the importance of communication in relation to time management.

“I basically had to communicate that I couldn’t be spending, I couldn’t be giving my mom as much time as I had been, which was half of my time. Because it’s just too much schoolwork,” Chhan said.

Sheehan said that the challenges associated with divorced parents have gotten easier over time, but that doesn’t mean that it was always fine.

“I didn’t receive any [support], no counselor, no nothing. My teacher didn’t talk about it with me. And you could clearly tell that I was struggling. And I was a little fourth grader; I had no idea what was going on,” Sheehan said.

White said there can be a disconnect between students and teachers. While her own experiences with divorce have given her empathy for students with divorced parents, she said that other teachers may not be fully aware of the difficulties their students endure.

“I think that teachers might not realize just like the extreme cognitive load for students,” White said. “In a contentious divorce, where parents are really not getting along, or maybe not speaking, the cognitive load on students to be able to be one way at one parent’s house and then maybe switch their entire identity at another parent’s house and then come to school and try to read a book.”

Counselors and administrators can’t legally disclose personal student information without student consent. So teachers won’t know about what students are going through since unless the students tell them.

“We are all here because we want to work with young people, and we want to support young people. If students are going through a divorce, or if they have been through one for a while or if things are changing in their family like remarrying, I would not hesitate to communicate with teachers,” said White. “We really do care.”

 

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About the Contributors
Boden Little (he/him)
Boden Little (he/him), Cheeky Editor
Junior Boden Little is the Cheeky Editor for his second year on Nordic News for the 2023-2024 school year. This year he hopes to keep getting better at photography and continue making people laugh. Around school, you can find him on the Inglemoor track and field team, and still trying to decide what club to join. Outside of school, you can find him playing popular indie games, still waiting for Hollow Knight: Silksong or listening to music artists you’ve never heard of.
Callie Tse (she/her)
Sophomore Callie Tse is a first-year reporter. She is excited to learn more about journalism and increase awareness of events, clubs, and little-known details all over the school. She also hopes to improve her writing skills and learn better to collaborate with others in the field of writing. In her free time, Callie enjoys playing piano, reading good books, and playing badminton with family and friends.

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