Introduction: From the Seventies – Children Are Resilient
In the early seventies our world changed dramatically. Divorce, while it had always been around, was kept fairly quiet. All of that changed when Ronald Regan signed the no fault divorce law in California. Like a speeding bullet divorce took aim at the families of America. Ronald Regan had no way of knowing that this one law would change our society in monumental ways.
Immediately I was thrown into the divorce arena when after moving to California I was placed in a low-income school where the majority of the children came from broken homes. I began to witness parents of the children in our school remarrying only to divorce again. Or I watched as uncle after uncle moved in and out of the homes. Fathers on the other hand just called their girlfriends live-ins. I began taking mental notes and studying the child of divorce.
The general consensus at that time was that children were resilient. They would suffer for a short while and then they would be okay. Many people thought if the parents would quickly remarry this would give the child a two-parent family then things would be even better.
I have kept in touch or kept track of some of the children I worked with back in the early 70s. For the children that had extended family support and church family support their outcomes are much better than ones that didn’t. Escapism seemed to be the route many took and still take today. Some accomplished this through dependence on drugs, alcohol and changing partners.