Super Care with Divorce

The US laws should declare 2 types of divorces. I believe Divorce between 2 peo­ple is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than a divorce that involves kids. TunnelLet’s call it super-divorce. Super­di­vorce is two adults sep­a­rat­ing with kids dragged unwill­ing­ly into the upheaval. Legal prob­lems, prop­er­ty, hous­ing, mon­ey should not be a child’s prob­lem. Swear­ing, demean­ing com­ments, blam­ing the oth­er par­ent is so typ­i­cal in divorces. Does any child ben­e­fit from hear­ing “Idiot!” “Slut!” or “You’re a los­er, no one could live with you.”? Adults don’t even want to hear it; but those words sear hot­ly into a child’s psy­che.

TunnelEli copyAny sep­a­ra­tion is a hard adjust­ment. But the D word can be bru­tal. For a child it’s like look­ing down a long, dark tun­nel know­ing you have to walk it and not sure which par­ent will be there for you. Maybe the par­ents are so wrapped up in their own fight­ing that nei­ther thinks of hold­ing the child’s hand. How is a super­di­vorce dif­fer­ent than just 2 adults split­ting up?

WaterfallEli - CopyDivorc­ing adults may be fair, gen­er­ous or acri­mo­nious and cru­el. But in a super­di­vorce the dis­agree­ments move into accu­sa­tions that stab into the rela­tion­ship of the par­ent-child. Blame moves into shame. Many times the fight­ing hap­pens over the child: where s/he lives, who foots the bill, cus­tody and vis­i­ta­tion. Alimo­ny is impor­tant, but child sup­port is crit­i­cal for young grow­ing bod­ies. Peo­ple are loafs if they don’t pay alimo­ny, but a dead-beat Dad is neglect­ful. Child pay­ments are with­held as threats until the oth­er par­ent agrees to vis­i­ta­tion. The mon­ey caus­es stale­ment between par­ents. The results? Anoth­er child can’t buy shoes to play sports or put fresh food on the table. Divorce puts chil­dren in pover­ty.

The rea­sons for the divorce are often unclear to the child. If there’s an affair, or abuse, or a bro­ken promise, these some­times are secrets. Secrets and fan­tasies can be crazy-mak­ing for a child. Par­ents need to see a fam­i­ly coun­selor, talk to child experts, go to chat-rooms to get advice. Extra-mar­i­tal affairs are more taboo in this cul­ture than domes­tic vio­lence. Often a new part­ner gets involved with one or both of the par­ents. We ask a lot of adjust­ments for a child whose world got divorce shat­tered. Abuse; new part­ners in the home thrust into par­ent­ing kids of divorce; lack of mon­ey can be trau­ma­tiz­ing to the chil­dren. How many new rela­tion­ships are formed ‘on the rebound.’? How fair is that to a teenag­er?

A Super­di­vorce can be pos­i­tive — there can be heal­ing results for every­one. The prob­lem isn’t the divorce; it’s how the divorce is han­dled. When chil­dren are involved the mov­ing van has to han­dle the pack­ages with extra care. A super­di­vorce needs super­care. These bun­dles of joy are frag­ile.

We need 4 hugs a day for sur­vival.

We need 8 hugs a day for main­te­nance.

We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

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