I am an avid reader of the Divorce Angels blog. I enjoy seeing all the different perspectives that the contributors bring. I’m not a writer. I don’t express my feelings well on paper (or maybe not even at all). My kid however, that’s an entirely different story. My 10 year old son is a beautiful writer. He’s creative and patient and possesses all the things that I would think you need to write well.
It occurred to me that if I wanted to figure out how my son was handling my divorce from his father, I should ask him to write about it. What he wrote was incredible because it gave me a window into how he was coping, and it brought me such a sense of pride for the way I have parented him since divorce. Not only did I see how well adjusted my son is, but he has some advice to offer other kids whose parents are divorced.
With his permission, I share it below, so that perhaps all readers can not only find comfort in my son’s words, but perhaps this is an effective and worthwhile exercise to have your child do. My son’s words have only been edited for spelling. The flow, the words and the thoughts are all his:
What Divorce means to me
It means that I need to switch homes and my parents don’t live together anymore. There are a lot of good things to divorce. Like for example I get two birthday gifts. I also get more homes to explore and more toys and games. Some other good things are I also get to meet new people because my mom has a boyfriend and my dad has a girlfriend.
It can also be bad because if you don’t like the person your mom or dad loves well then that can get awkward. If you come upon a scenario like that then here are a few tips…
- Tell your mom or dad that you don’t like their partner
- Tell them what you don’t like about them
- Try to talk it out with the parent and their partner
I was one of the lucky fellows that got to stay in their original home and only my dad moved out but not too far away. I used to have some issues with my dad’s girlfriend I used those three simple steps and now everything is fine. Another pro is that I also get toys, gifts and games from my mom or dad’s partner.
I hope that by sharing my son’s thoughts, the readers will see that your kids will be fine! It’s been a long and bumpy road, but for those of you who are just starting out on this road, read my son’s words with hope that your kids are resilient.
They will adjust, they will thrive and they will be strong and great with guidance from you!
This is another one of those “kids are quite resilient; divorce doesn’t bother them that much” articles. As a child of divorce, let me tell you that is pure bull-sh–. It is a lie people tell each other to justify what they are doing. Of course a child likes it when they get more presents. Any child would. But, believe me, a child would much rather have an intact family and no presents at all.
Children of divorce have no power. One day their life is fine, the next day their life is a complete shambles. They have the uncanny ability to think that the divorce is their fault. “If only I had . . not broken that vase . . kept my room cleaner . . . not fought with my brother . . . been a better kid , etc., etc., they would have not gotten a divorce.
I my case, my father moved out of the home. My mother got full custody and my father had “reasonable visitation”. Imagine that! A father “visiting” his daughter! At first it was frequent, and then it was more and more infrequent, as each parent went on with their lives. Soon it was a couple of weeks in the summer. I lost the opportunity to learn from my father about the male gender.
My heart breaks when I hear of children of divorce living one week with Mom and one week with Dad, alternating every week. They must feel like “a man without a country”. If were the judge, I would rule that the children of divorce get custody of the marital home, and the parents alternate each week living with the child(ren). That would give the child much more security than moving back and forth. I think I hear a howl of objection on this, but, after all, the child did not get the divorce, so why should he/she be inconvenienced? Let the parents be inconvenienced.
And one more thing before thing before I go. Children of divorce NEVER stop hoping that their parents will get back together. I am 85 years old and I still wish it.
I am sure there will be some/many objections to what I have said, but that’s OK. I just wanted to share my experiences and feelings.
I agree, Nea. The children always pay the highest price for the adults’ selfishness.
I wouldn’t term it as “selfishness” per se but yes, I acknowledge that divorce is certainly difficult on children. Thank goodness for the evolution of divorce whereby we now try to focus more on child-centred approaches.