I love this article on step parenting, the approach to it, the attitude, the understanding of what is important.
I have never understood how adults act without any connection to the pain they are causing their children. I have never understood choosing to live in a living room filled with constant hate and a hyper vigilant need to destroy or undermine the other parent. Children are forced to live with that and their response is to do whatever is necessary to create peace. Sadly, most often, that requires them to play the game of hating the other parent and never visiting them because at least then it makes the primary care parent calmer. These children are not choosing to alienate the other parent. They are beaten into submission by the hate of the controlling parent.
Why do we live in a world that seeks to keep love from children?
Why would we ever do that to our children?
Are we that fragile in our own ability to connect with our children that we are threatened by the idea that their other parent would want to bond with them?
Does anyone else see the schizophrenia behind screaming for years about parents who don’t bond with their kids, parents who are not there for meals, or games or performances . . . and then insisting those same people now just get lost? Only the “getting lost” is not about what is best for the child, it is about the ultimate revenge. “You did not love me, I am going to fix it so that no-one loves you.” Or it is the winning, the proving that the controlling parent is the best parent, the one who “gets to keep” the children.
There is no winning against this insanity. The family court is only in the beginning stages of waking up to it. But it is caught in a spinning wheel of human behavior. The moment divorce rears its ugly head the friends and family weigh in. People commenting, speculating, adding fuel to the fire, encouraging and supporting other adults to be dysfunctional and destructive. It is the gang mentality in all its glory. Things an individual might never do all alone, SHOULD never do, are supported and encouraged and applauded. People high five the attitude. They laugh about stories of how the controlling parent “got him/her good.”
And the children see it all.
What I love about Lori’s account, is that the focus is on the impact on the children. She comes out of a place where she knows too well the damage done to the children of divorce. I worry about this generation growing up without a foundation of both parents. I worry about their ability to form meaningful relationships of their own, to trust others. I worry about their self esteem. I worry about their ability to parent their own children.
I worry about a world that is seeking to limit love in the primary unit of our society – the family.
I write about this issue because there is just so much of it and because it is not something that can be legislated away … it has to begin with all of us. We have to speak up. We have to be willing to gently say to the people in our circles who are going through divorce that a child needs both parents in their life. We need to not treat this like we are talking about having won a board game with sneaky maneuvers. We have to stop providing an audience of approval, even with our silence. This is the power we all forget. Each of us has the ability to make a difference if we simply refuse to allow the behaviour in our own lives. We don’t need policing and laws for everything if we will only stand in our own place with light and integrity.