Hi Emily:

I'm 11, currently, and the past day or 2 my mum and dad have been arguing, they keep saying to each other they're going to divorce. And I'm finding it very hard to grasp. But I think they're really considering it. I mean, why divorce now? They've been together for close 20 years and they've had 2 kids. Why has it all changed from happy family to sad family.

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------

I'm so sorry for you. Parents often forget children hear, and are affected by their arguing -- and that it hurts them when they know their parents have such anger toward each other. You are a very bright 11 year-old, and you are insightful. But humans are not free of faults, and have many weaknesses.  Parents are no exception. We are products of our childhood experiences, genetics, societal input, and we do not always know or learn how to correct errors in our behavior because of these very strong forces. I don't know what happened in this twenty- year marriage that isn't going well, but it doesn't have anything to do with you and your other sibling. Yet I know that children often feel at fault, or think they can do something to change the situation. But, sadly, that isn't so. This is an issue between your mom and dad, and you cannot control their behavior, or suddenly make them calm down and get their act together. At most, right now, all you can do is take them aside and say it makes you sad to see them not get along. But that's really all you can do. Some parents will drag their kids into their problems and expect them to take sides. If this happens, try to avoid it if you possibly can. It's hard to separate you from them, but this is really what you have to do right now. This is a time for you to concentrate on your schoolwork, and focus on getting good grades. One day you will be on your own and able to live your life on your terms. Understanding human behavior is also a good way to better understanding. Again, people are human, and they are flawed. Your parents don't see eye-to-eye, and maybe it will end up in divorce. In many instances, that's not the worst thing to have happen. Although divorce does affect children in many negative ways, it can also make it easier to be around a parent who seems happier that they are no longer in a relationship that isn't working. People change, and sometimes they grow out of each other in a marriage. If this happens, weather the storm and keep an eye on your life and how you can always make it better. Sometimes it's best to learn from others mistakes, in order to avoid making them in your life.