How and Why Divorce Impacts Kids

Kara Powell | May 26, 2011

A few years ago, Andy Root, who teaches at Luther Seminary, told me that he was writing a book about the effects of divorce on kids. As a leader and daughter of divorced parents, I was interested and asked Andy if he would send me a chapter of his manuscript.

He did, and I devoured it. I asked him to send me another one.

He did, and I devoured that one also. And I repeated my request for him to send me the next chapter.

I read the entire manuscript that way. I’ve recommended Andy’s book, The Children of Divorce, probably over 20 times. We also interviewed Andy for our FYI E-Journal last summer. But since the effects of divorce on kids are everywhere, I thought I’d post about it, especially given this article in Christianity Today‘s Her.meneutics last week.

What I most remember and appreciate about Andy’s thesis is that divorce affects a child’s sense of being. On a very existential level, if my parents are no longer together, and I came from my parents, what does that say about me and my existence?

I also applaud that Andy doesn’t paint a doom-and-gloom scenario for all kids of divorce, as many other books tend to. Instead, there are a raft of helpful and practical suggestions for adults, communities, and churches who want to support kids and families in the midst of the divorce process.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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