Divorce: When Children Are Left Holding The Bag
Children are the only innocent victims of divorce and more times than not they are the ones left holding the bag due to the unstable nature of the Family Court System and parents who lose sight of their children’s needs.
This isn’t an anti-divorce article. This article is about advocating for children whose parents are divorcing. It is a collection of stories that will hopefully educate parents who can then work together during the divorce process to minimize the risk of long-term negative effects on their children.
Not all children are damaged by divorce. Some are though and exposing those stories can be a warning to parents. A sort of “do it the right way or else” warning that will show parents what a child needs to survive the dismantling of a family.
The one thing these stories have in common is a broken bond or attachment with a parent. The loss of consistency in a child’s relationship with both parents can determine whether a divorce does life-long damage or the child moves smoothly through the divorce process.
Parents need to protect and be extremely sensitive to the effects of a broken bond or attachment with either parent or other family members during the divorce process and after. To not be sensitive can be detrimental and produce a story for your child similar to the ones you are about to read.
Alan was 7 when his parents divorced. He was an outgoing, precocious child who “loved his family.” He had a close bond with his father. They were buddies, very similar in personality and nature and Alan adored “guy time” with his Dad.
Alan was always on the go, a very active child but he checked in often during long summer days while out and about with friends. It was important to Alan that he have a home base, somewhere he belonged and could come to on a moment’s notice.
He felt stable in the world because he had a stable family. He had never heard his parents argue.Family conflict was a foreign concept to him. He went to bed at night safe in the knowledge that those he loved would be there the next morning to love him.
One day Alan was in school. His father came to school and checked him. Alan was puzzled but happy to see his father. He had no hint there was a problem. He lived in an atmosphere where problems were not the norm. In fact, in Alan’s case he was unaware that “problems” existed in the world. His life had been one of stress free days playing with friends and warm, cozy evenings spent with family.
By Cathy Meyer, About.com Guidecomments powered by Disqus