When a child sees his or her parents divorce, it is likely that he or she dreams about them making up and getting back together. It is possible that they will reconcile, but it is unlikely. It is often times better for the child to come to terms with the divorce and cope with the new situation.
Hollywood, on the other hand, is making divorce out to be a temporary phase, but in the end, couples reunite and remarry. There are two movies out this summer-“Popper’s Penguins” and “Crazy Stupid Love”-that show just what it takes to make divorced or separated couples get back together.
A psychology professor at Wake Forest University, however, believes that the Hollywood ideal of remarriage could lead to problems for families. While she notes that it is not atypical for children to think about remarriage, “Hollywood perpetuates the notion that this can happen for kids who are experiencing this type of longing.”
Additionally, a movie critic claims that children are smart enough to handle a divorce and it would be better if movies dealt more realistically with it. He says that movie plotlines with remarriage make light of the underlying marital problems that caused the divorce by implying that they can be easily solved.
Instead, it may be better for movies to tackle a divorce by providing an example of a healthy, post-divorce relationship between parents. Movies like “Mrs. Doubtfire” or “The Santa Clause” end on a positive note, but the former couples remain divorced. The movies show that parents can still stay involved in the lives of their children, even if they are not the primary custodial parent.
Hollywood’s love of the remarriage plotline can play a dangerous game with a child’s emotions and it might be better for children to see that divorce does not have to be a horrible thing.
Source: ABC News, “In Movies, No Marriage Woes Are Irreconcilable,” Jake Coyle, Aug. 9, 2011