Every kid has a right to be healthy, happy and safe: however, this can be challenging at a time when mom and dad are splitting up. Below are some perspectives parents should never forget — and kids should never let them forget – during a time when the family is in the midst of a divorce.
- IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF.
- You have the right to love both your parents. You also have the right to be loved by both of them. That means you should not feel guilty about wanting to see your dad or your mom at any time. It is important for you to have both parents in your life, particularly during difficult times such as a break-up of your parents.
- You do not have to choose one parent over the other. If you have an opinion about which parent you want to live with, let it be known. But nobody can force you to make that choice. If your parents can not work it out, a judge may make the decision for them.
- You are entitled to all the feelings you’re having. Do not be embarrassed by what you’re feeling. It is scary when your parents break up, and you are allowed to be scared. Or angry. Or sad. Or whatever.
- You have the right to be in a safe environment. This means that nobody is allowed to put you in danger, either physically or emotionally. If one of your parents is hurting you, tell someone — either your other parent or a trusted adult like a teacher.
- You do not belong in the middle of your parents’ break-up. Sometimes your parents may get so caught up in their own problems that they forget that you’re just a kid, and that you can’t handle their adult worries. If they start putting you in the middle of their dispute, remind them that it is their fight, not yours.
- Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still part of your life. Even if you are living with one parent, you can still see relatives on your other parent’s side. You will always be a part of their lives, even if your parents are not together anymore.
- You have the right to be a child. Kids should not worry about adult problems. Concentrate on your schoolwork, your friends, activities, etc. Your mom and dad just need your love. They can handle the rest.
Have any questions about this topic, please call me 202-872-0400.