Divorce. A common thing when you hear almost 50% of marriages end up that way. Also, of these, 49% seem to involve children. (These are 2007 stats by the ABS)
The reason behind this post is that a number of my clients fall in this catergory of divorced parents. Children are resilient no doubt. And I have no problems with couples getting divorced if they think they need to.
What gets me riled up is when the child is stuck in the middle.
Yes, the cases where each parent bags the other out in front of the child. Where each parent communicates with the other through the child. Where each parent refuses to go to the other parent’s place to get something the child has forgotten. Where each parent has a shouting match in front of the child’s friends and the child re who is to blame for the divorce. Where each parent tells a professional that the child needs counselling because of the other parent. Where each parent then thinks the other parent is over-reacting re how the child deals with the divorce. Where each parent blames the other parent when the child is in fact sad about the divorce.
What I fail to understand is that these are adults…supposedly able to make decisions. How can they not see what they are doing to their kids? I mean, the divorce is bad enough for most kids. But all of what I mentioned on top of that is unbearable for a child — whether the child is 6 or 16.
Unfortunately, it is not my position to tell the parents to back off (unless they are in for a family therapy session…which is very unlikely)
I understand that the couple are no longer in love. I understand that they probably were fighting a lot and hence decided to divorce. But why make it worse?
Why not keep the fighting to a place where it’s just the two of them?
Why not communicate through means such as email or text messages if you can’t stand to talk to one another?
Why not realise that both of you are to blame?
After all, it takes two people to make a relationship work and it takes the same two people to break the relationship (okay…there can be a third person or a fourth in some cases!)
I am not generalising this to all couples who divorce. I know there are sensible ones out there.
But those that do this…there’s just one question: Why??
I am left with your children. Your children who worry. Your children who get aggressive. Your children who get depressed.
And I have to explain to them that their parents love them despite the fact they keep putting them in the middle. And try to make them choose.
Don’t do this to your kids.
They are but, just that — kids.
Whether they are 6 or 16.
Until next time,