Mom and Dad, what do you think it is like for me 3′-4′ high weighing in at 90-100lbs when I hear the “our family is getting divorced” conversation? I think the way things happen in life is somehow two people get together and create a family with little people like me growing up trying to figure out the world. I never really thought about all this until the day I was told my family was breaking apart. All of a sudden having a family became really important to me. I didn’t want my family to break up. I knew you both fought a lot but I guess I always figured that is what parents do. It was annoying but not my problem. Or you never fought like Joey’s parents so it really rocked my world to hear my family was breaking apart! Can’t you go to the store to get fixed like the car gets fixed at the car store?
Ok, more bad news for me, you don’t care that I don’t want my family to break apart. I don’t get to vote. Now my family is apart AND you are still fighting AND I am involved! How did this happen? Aren’t there some rules to stop this from happening to me? HELP!
Mom/Dad I know you don’t like each other, but how is it good for me if you tell me all the things you hate about my other parent? I am too young to know what to do with the information and by the way, it is none of my business as well as too much information. Isn’t this Parental Alienation Syndrome whatever that means? After you tell me lots of horrible things about my other parent, I have to go there and have a relationship with this person. Sometimes it feels good at his/her house so I don’t understand and wonder if you are lying. Sometimes I get a little brainwashed and believe you and then I act badly at the other house and of course that doesn’t go well for me.
“Parental Alienation Syndrome is Child Abuse!”
When it is time for me to go to “the other house” why do you hide the things I brought from there? It only makes sense to me that what I came with, I go back with. I think you want to make my other parent mad, but I am the one who gets yelled at because I don’t have my “things”. Whew! Really!! These are things my friends do to each other. You use to teach me to respect people, but you sure aren’t respecting me or my other parent. Do you know how confusing this all is for me?
Mom/Dad why did you sign me up for music camp without discussing it with my other parent? Boy was he/she angry when I had to be the messenger (but you knew that would happen). Aren’t you two suppose to communicate about what is in my best interest which includes not making unilateral decisions that effect my time at my other parent’s house. You failed that one. It feels like betrayal to me because you knew I would be hurt by your doing that. So now you want to hurt me. Oh doesn’t that feel good?
When I am playing my hardest at my soccer game and there is a big ruckus in the stands, do you have any idea how I feel knowing you two are having another public fight? This is my soccer game where I am supposed to be allowed to just be a normal kid and do my kid things. Another Saturday spoiled for me. I was told we are divorcing because you two don’t get along, well the “divorce” sure didn’t fix that did it? And worse, I am now involved in the not getting along. Why did you break up our family again?
I know you both know the best way to hurt each other is through me but did you ever stop and think how that effects my little world? I love my family. I couldn’t vote about our breaking up, and now you are using me to get back at my other parent! Please Stop! Grow up! I am the kid here remember!
“It is so much easier to build a strong child than to fix a broken adult. Love your child more than you hate your Ex.”
This article originally appeared at https://www.divorceforce.com/article/grow-up-mom-and-dad-by-anne-brown-phd-rn.
Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN CS of Sausalito, California, is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. Anne’s approach is especially applicable to people affected by divorce. Backbone Power is a no nonsense self help guide to making decisions while having backbone and integrity in all your choices, short term and long term. In addition to helping the divorce community, Anne has over twenty years experience as the trusted advocate and advisor to influential corporate leaders, trial attorneys, athletes, leaders, physicians and others seeking actionable guidance. Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do. You can contact Dr. Anne Brown through her website: www.BackbonePower.com.