Be Your Child’s Advocate and Protector, Even During Your Divorce
Not too long ago, I wrote a post at The Guilty Parent with my thoughts on the Jon and Kate divorce disaster. I was just scratching the surface on my opinions of their divorce and the effects on the kids when it occurred to me that I really have a bigger opinion on this than I had originally thought.
My opinions aren’t necessarily about Jon and Kate, I mean that’s important and all but after sitting with a friend in a lawyer’s office recently and then the media frenzy that seems to sit over Jon and Kate like a big black thundering cloud… well, I can’t help but have some thoughts running through my mind; especially since I’m a product of divorce as well.
First of all, I’m not going to tell anyone to stay with someone if they are miserable. I’ve seen miserable and it’s, well, MISERABLE. However, I think the number of people out there advocating for kids of divorce is dismal. Kids don’t have a choice in what is happening to them. They don’t ask for it and unless they’re old enough for the courts to listen to them, they just end up where a bunch of adults think they are best off.
Do I sound jaded? Possibly, but here’s the really sucky truth about growing up as a kid of divorce; you will always be conflicted about your parents. If you’re lucky enough to not be caught in the crossfire or be used as a pawn you will always have conflict about your feelings for your parents. Kids are resilient but they aren’t shatter proof. They do get broken when parents divorce.
I wish there had been someone to warn me about my parents’ divorce or to tell me what I might experience in the 10 years after their divorce was final or how I might lose the connection with my siblings.
I’m not here to be preachy. Again, I would never wish for two people to stay together simply because they have children. What I am saying, and hoping that someone is paying attention to, is that before you file those papers, make a conscious effort to leave your kids out of it. Don’t get into who is the better parent and don’t let where they live come down to who has more money. Think of their futures and how you want them to see you.
See, eventually those little kids will grow up and form their own thoughts and opinions about you and your spouse, and those opinions will come from what you say and do.
Don’t discount your kids because even though they may be very small, they are watching you and the person they grow up to be will be directly related to how you conduct yourself today and in the future.