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Divorce and Stepfamilies: Breaking Apart, Coming Together

All families are works in progress...

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Divorce and Stepfamilies: Breaking Apart, Coming Together

I never used to think divorce was that bad. I was wrong. It's awful. --Amanda, 17

Girl with her family Amanda is one of a million young people in the U.S. who are involved in new divorces each year. Do you know someone like her? Chances are, you do. The reality is that half of all American youth will experience the break-up of their parents' marriage and its aftermath. Along with that can come mental and physical problems like depression, eating disorders, violence, and drug abuse. [Statistics on divorce in the U.S.] If the Big D happens to you, will you know how to deal? This In the Mix episode puts a personal face on all the statistics, featuring real teens coping with divorce and its aftermath, as well as expert counselors...all offering their firsthand experience and advice.

Banana Splits membersIn Dartmouth, Massachusetts, we join the town's long established "Banana Splits" program in which high school teens who have dealt with their parents' divorces mentor children in grades 4-6 who are trying to cope with similar situations. At Hunterdon High School in New Jersey, we meet students who come together in a support group to explore solutions to problems such as custody arrangements, visitation, and building new relationships with single parents. We also meet an interracial stepfamily from Long Island, New York to see see how four teens and their parents have successfully worked through many difficult issues to come together as a close "blended" household. [Speak out! How did you deal with your parents' divorce and/or remarriage?]

Hunterdon High School support groupIf you've ever thought, "My parents splitting up is my fault," know that you're not alone, but also know that this feeling is one of the most common myths surrounding children of divorce. You may also be familiar with emotions like anger, guilt, shame, fear, denial, confusion, and sadness. Again...you're not alone! This In the Mix special reminds young people that help -- and hope -- is out there. Says Jeanine, 17: "You will feel better over time. It's a gradual process."
[Take our poll: Have you experienced the divorce of your parents?]

Banana Splits membersDivorce doesn't hit home for you? This In the Mix episode also offers useful insight and advice for parents and friends. The message is clear: regardless of how it affects you, it's more than just OK to talk about the issues created by divorce and remarriage...In fact, it's essential.
[Great resources] [Get help 24/7]

"Divorce and Stepfamilies: Breaking Apart, Coming Together" was funded by Ronald McDonald House Charities. The program is regularly re-broadcast on PBS affiliates across the country. Please check our schedule for airtimes.

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