Working with teenagers and adult children who went through parental divorce and being a child of divorce myself, I figured something we all have in common.
“STOP PUTTING ME IN THE MIDDLE!”
Most parents don’t get the insight into the heart and mind of a child of divorce because most children never have the courage to share their voice on the matter.
This article serves as a compilation of real-life statements said by teenagers and children of divorce.
1. Don’t say mean things about my other parent. When you criticize my other parent it makes me angry at YOU!
2. Don’t make me pick who I want to spend time with – it’s not fair.
3. Handle your financial conversations in private. I don’t want to hear about it and I don’t want to be your messenger.
4. Don’t use money to win my love. I will love you regardless of who has “more” money.
5. Don’t keep me from seeing the other parent. If you do, I’ll grow up and most probably resent you.
6. Get a counsellor to help you with your problems. I need you to be strong and stable for my well-being. I don’t want to hear about your problems. Talk to someone else other than me. Don’t make ME be YOUR parent.
7. Smile. I want to enjoy my life, and your mood impacts my mood. I long to create positive and life-longing memories with you.
8. Don’t forget that I live between two completely different houses. Be patient with me when I forget things. If you want me to feel “at home” in both places, please set up a full home for me, even if I am only there a few days a month. Things like toothbrushes, shoes, clothes, and my favourite cereal. Just help me not have to feel like a visitor when I am with either parent. Make it as easy on ME as possible!
The issue is that sometimes parents stay in a bad marriages for the sake of their children to avoid all the problems mentioned above. What we must consider is that, in some instances staying in bad marriages can be worse for children than divorce.
The key here is not to avoid divorce. However, instead, to make decisions, that first and foremost, prioritize your own health, as a parent that complements raising your children in a healthy environment, that enables them to grow up into becoming healthy and prosperous individuals.
In conclusion, to Parents: We know you are hurting, but so are your children.
Your children need your support. They also need your love, attention, nurturing, stability, consistency, affection, understanding and patience.
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