Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kids with Divorced Parents Are Awesome

Over the years there have been several articles talking about how children from divorced families suffer, sometimes in perpetuity due to the fact their parents are divorced.  This body of research (all, and yes all, with major design flaws) purports that these children will never recover, have long-lasting negative effects on their lives, will not be able to create their own romantic relationships, and some claiming the divorce is like a plauge on the souls of these  poor destitute children who will have no fond memories of childhood (ok, so all that is a little dramatic...but you get my drift).

First and foremost, the researchers can suck it....and here's why....

From the minute that each of my daughters was born they were absolutely amazing.  They were amazing when their dad and I were married, and they are still amazing today.  Nothing about their current or future potential as human being has changed.  And stating otherwise is limiting their world, which to this mama, is completely unacceptable.

The fact that my children come from divorced parents is part of their directory information.  Yet in today's society some choose to make the  "divorced parents"  label part of a child's fiber, on equal footing with ethnicity.  Kids with divorced parents aren't headed for the bread line or a life of confusion...they are headed for the same greatness they were born to achieve...end of story.  

I would actually argue that children of divorced parents could in fact be better off in the long run than if their parents stayed together.  Some no longer see abuse (both physical and psychological).  Some no longer see bitter fighting between their parents.  When parents part, tension in the home can be released.  And then there are the benefits of seeing their parents modeling happy behavior.  Happy to be out of a abusive relationship - happy to be living authentically if they weren't in fact in love, just happy to be moving on.  Notice I'm not saying children of divorced parents are somehow better than children whose parents are married - because I don't compare.  And I wouldn't put that "less than" label on the kids of married parents.  Because those comparisons are meaningless.

I know lots of families that stay together for "the sake of the children."  They trudge through life completely miserable.  Some are able to put on an Academy Award winning performance as perfect - others can't hide it.  When word got out of my divorce one mom told me "I wish I had your strength to leave but I don't want my children to come from a broken home."  So instead children those come from a home where they don't get to witness their parents happy or loving towards one another.  I can only imagine an adult child would feel knowing that their parents stayed together, and miserable, just for them.  And then coming to the realization that their "parental unit" was a sham.

Here's a crazy idea...how about we all just stop trying to label and judge.  Rather than decide which kids are better or worse, how about we conduct research that focuses on solving problems rather than pointing them out...how divorce parents help their kids through the process....how families, regardless of size, shape, or the players can thrive.

So....

If you are a divorced or divorcing parent:
Surround yourself with people who are going to support you and your children through the process and into your divorced life.  If they are going to label your children as "children of divorce" kick them to the curb.  Your children deserve better. When I was getting divorced I was told by a member of my inner circle that my children would suffer "irreparable" damage because of what my divorce would do to them.  That person, and their negative attitude, are no longer part of my inner circle (or any circle) and their negativity doesn't get anywhere near my kids.

If you are a  close friend or relative of a divorced or divorcing parent:
Don't focus on the horrors of divorce that live in your own head.  Focus on your friend or relative and the fabulous children.  Support, love, and nurture them through the process as they establish themselves in the post-divorce lifestyle.

And lastly, if you are a child whose parents have split:
You are amazing...end of story.  If anyone ever tells you that you are less than amazing because of your parent's marital status, send them my way.  You still have every opportunity in front of you that was present when your parents were together.

So glad we've cleared this up.  So now just to be clear, I'm fabulous, you're fabulous, and your children are and will grow up to be whatever fabulous selves the universe sent them into this would to be.  



1 comment:

  1. Like that post! I guess there is some truth in the other point of view, because children tend to think: it is my fault, that daddy and mom have been devorced.
    If you can get rid of that, everything should be fine for the future life. And yes showing an example of respectfull behaviour against your former partner and showing them, that you are responcible for your own life, your destiny should make them stronger for their own.
    So I am with your interpretation for at least 98%.
    kind regards
    Stephan

    http://www.capscovil.com/EN/Electrified.html

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