Whatever your views on marriage, you cannot get away from the fact that kids are in the front line and then some! Did you know that almost half of the firstborns today in the USA are born to unwed mothers? You may also be shocked to learn that by the time they are 16, about 50% of American kids will have to experience their parents’ divorce. That is about I million children a year.
Whether parents cohabit, marry, or divorce, the kids are always altered, for better or for worse. So, let us ask the kids what they think of marriage. Maybe they can teach us a few things about this institution because kids can be intuitive, perceptive, wise or naïve. It is fascinating to hear what their impressions are.
Marriage thrives on the couple having independent satisfying lives, according to all the marriage counselors out there. But you can have too much of a good thing because too much independence can lead to infidelity or being a workaholic. Perhaps kids realize what the warning signs are, such as:
“Don’t forget your wife’s name. That will mess up the love.” – Erin, age 8
“Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.” – Ricky, age 10
Spouses love being appreciated and given compliments on their talents, accomplishments and appearance. Who doesn’t like to be praised for how they look?
On Love and Children
“Lovers will just be staring at each other and their food will get cold. Other people care more about the food.” – Brad, age 8
Married couples are easily recognized. Usually, the loving glances and the affectionate arm holding as they walk the mall, make them easy to spot.
“We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.” – Henny Youngman
But what happens when discipline problems rear their ugly heads and kids get out of control?
“You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” – Derrick, age 8
How do couples end up married?
“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.”- Will Ferrell
This question is an easy one for the adults to answer. Opposites attract or we end up with people who look like and behave just like us. Remember how you thought that your parents were just meant for each other? Some kids go a bit further and say it was all decided a long time ago!
“No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.” – Kristen, age 10
Divorce has profound effects on the kids
It is heart wrenching to watch the video below as children describe what they went through when their parents divorced. It is startling to realize how sensitive and perceptive the kids are as to what is happening around them, even when their parents refuse to tell them anything. They also take on the stoical role so as to protect the parents from the extra burden of worrying about them. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Kids’ views on marriage in general
As the discussions widen to include gay marriage, Jimmy Kimmel wanted to find out what kids think of that and also marriage in general. The responses here are surprisingly savvy. It seems that the worries about having to explain equal marriage to kids is unfounded. They seem to be well ahead of the game.
I love it when the kids who is asked “when is a good time to get married’” replies “in the afternoon.” It is also interesting to realize that many kids see that marriage is not always a picnic.
“It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” – Kenny, age 7
Featured photo credit: A family gathered in the kitchen at home looking at photographs/ Personal Creations via flickr.com