January 22, 2015

Don't Use Children as Pawns during a Divorce!

"Decision" by George Hodan
I don't like seeing families torn apart by divorces. Adults will divorce for many reasons, but can still be civil to each other for their children's sake. Why should children suffer more than they have to?

Sometimes one or both adults use child custody and a child's loyalties as a revenge tactic. Children deserve contact with both parents, unless one or both parents are abusive or detrimental to their child's well-being.

They need their parents to respect each other or at least be civil. Divorcing couples should vent their issues only to counselors, lawyers, and select confidants. Children don't need to hear negative talk about the other parent. After all, children know they are a product of both parents. If the other parent has issues, explain it in a respectful, simple, and truthful way. Young children won't understand, so explain as best you can.

Children deserve their parents to be honest with everyone. Sometimes, one or both parents will fudge facts about the situation to assuage their guilt about divorcing. The adult may claim spousal or child abuse or any number of things when it is only a fabrication. (I bristle at false abuse claims because abuse victims already deal with enough junk. False claims diminish their real claims. Sadly, the abuse may be real, but the real abuser or close acquaintances obscure the truth.)

Parents have the responsibility to love their children and to be civil to the other parent during a divorce. Children need both parents as circumstances allow. This is a critical time during their lives, so give them a better chance to thrive despite a divorce.