The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being
Part of the Youth, Family, and Culture Series
Why does divorce cause so much strain and long-term distress for children of all ages? Andrew Root, a recognized authority on youth ministry and a child of divorce himself, explains that divorce causes children to question their core identity. Since a child is the product of the union of a mother and father, when that union ends, he or she experiences a baffling sense of loss of self--a loss of his or her very sense of being. Root redirects efforts for assisting children of divorce to first address this fundamental experience. This unique book examines the impact of divorce not only from a theological and spiritual perspective but also from a young person's perspective. It will benefit those who have experienced divorce and those who minister to children of divorce.
From the Back Cover Winsomely written, achingly honest, and fearlessly hopeful. Root's analysis of divorce as an ontological--not just a sociological--crisis for children is dead-on, as is his advice for congregations who must name and address this soul-splitting reality. With his incomparable ability to blend story and theology, Root delivers a beautiful and wise book that is for anyone touched by divorce.-- Kenda Creasy Dean , Princeton Theological Seminary Andrew Root's insightful analysis gives voice to my own journey as a child of divorce, and to the experiences of countless others I've observed. This book beautifully integrates the ontological pain of divorce with the redemptive power of Christ and the church.-- Kara E. Powell , Fuller Youth Institute, Fuller Theological Seminary Divorce leaves a cloud of dust that never settles. And those of us who love and care for kids need to pay special attention to the growing number of children who undergo this experience. As one who has lived in the dust, Root raises the right issues, challenging us to think more deliberately and carefully about what it means to minister to, parent, and befriend the children of divorce.-- Walt Mueller , Center for Parent/Youth Understanding Youth workers have always known that the impact of divorce on kids was substantially deeper than pop culture would want us to believe, and now, thankfully, Root tells us why this is true. Reading The Children of Divorce felt like sitting with Root--precariously, uncomfortably--in the three-way intersection of history, psychology, and theology.-- Mark Oestreicher , speaker; consultant; author, Youth Ministry 3.0 This fascinating study argues that the pain experienced by children of divorced parents cannot be healed by legal, psychological, 'religious, ' or other techniques. An affliction that attacks the ontological foundations of the self can only be assuaged by the acquisition of new sources of being. And so Root probes how the Christian faith and community can help locate these sources. He demonstrates an unusual combination of human compassion and theological wisdom.-- Douglas John Hall , McGill University Our culture says divorce is 'normal, ' but the existential consequences for children of divorce--like myself--are not a normal aspect of human development. With compassion, wisdom, and theological insight, Root calls for the church to become a community in which young people are able to ground their being and process the painful loss of family security.-- Mark W. Cannister , Gordon College