On the issue of why divorce threatens a child’s sense of being, Andrew Root writes in his book, The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as a Loss of Being:
It is my belief that our humanity (and very being) is upheld in community. for each one of us, the most significant and core of these communities is the one mad up of a biological mother and father. Witout their community, their would be no child. So when that community is destroyed, it is a threat to the child’s being. Divorce, therefore, should be seen as OT just the slit of a social unit, but the break of the community in which the child’s identity sts. Divorce is much more than a psychological or sociological reality. It is about something deeper than economic advantage, psychological stability, or social capital. Divorce is a threat to a child’s very ontology, to his or her very being…when the community that rated a child dissolves, the child is left exposed not only psychologically and socially, but ontologically.
It the remainder of the book, he skillfully and convincingly argues that the reason so many people underestimate the impact of divorce of children is because they do not realize the ontological impacts of divorce. Ontology is the branch of metaphysics that deals with the study of the nature of existence or being. In other words, Root shows how divorce not only impacts a child emotionally and socially, but at the very core, divorce causes children to question their very sense of being. after all, if the two people who created a child are no longer together, and the community they spent their first years in no longer exists, why do they exist?
Root explains how, as children, we draw our sense of being primarily from the family we are a part of. When that family is torn apart, the child not only must adjust to the many changes that divorce brings but also wrestle with why they even exist. The book is a “deep read,” but I do recommend it for anyone who knows or works with children. If you work with any number of kids, statistics show that you likely work with some whose parents have divorced. This book will help you to understand what they are going through.