UNITED STATES—Anyone who happens to be a child of divorce understands very well the stress that can be created for the child or children and the parents. When I was about 7, my parents got divorced. To say that it was devastating would be an understatement. For a child to go from seeing a parent every single day, to go from not seeing their mother or father for weeks, if not months can psychologically damage a person.
Recently, a case in Michigan made national headlines when judge decided to force three children to have lunch with their father even though they were adamant that they didn’t want to. My first thought when I heard was “How in the world could a judge decide to make such a decision?” It was almost as if the judge was being slightly biased in the court case, and to make matters worse she punished the kids. Like what the hell was this judge thinking by sending these kids to a detention facility?
If you sense a child to be so frightened to spend time with another parent, there has to be a reason. This is not to say that it’s possible the child could have been corrupted by one of the parents. I can vividly recall the nastiness between my parents. They would have huge arguments, others would share their input, and me, my brother and my sister would go weeks without seeing our father. There was a particular time frame where it was a few months before we saw our father.
Things got so bad that my mother began to realize that alienating us from our father created a bit of resentment. Me and my siblings were antagonistic to our mother; we wanted to see our father and made it quite clear to her. So much to the point, she began to realize keeping us from our father was actually hurting us more than she realized.
That barrier breakdown was crucial in my opinion; it allowed us to continue to build a relationship with our father during a difficult time. In addition, it put into perspective that we weren’t responsible for the divorce. Many kids tend to point the finger at themselves in the midst of a divorce, when rarely is the child the reason a divorce takes place between two parents.
I still find it baffling that a court would ‘FORCE’ a child to spend time with a parent even though they were adamant about not doing so. It’s a bit of a tricky subject matter to look at, but according to some allegations, some of the kids witnessed their father getting physical with the mother, raising a concern for them not to interact with their father.
When it comes to a divorce or a custody battle, BOTH parents have to consider the well-being of the children, not themselves. This is a mistake that happens time and time again. It’s about me, not the children; wrong the children should be your top priority. What is troubling is if one parent knows the separation will impact the child, especially if they have a strong bond with one of the parents. Some adults look at divorce as an opportunity to stick to their spouse for doing them wrong and unfortunately the child gets caught in the middle of that battle.
There is not a day in my life where I have questioned, “How my life would be different if my parents hadn’t gotten divorced?” I think all kids of divorce think that. It’s gotten to the point where I have even considered writing a screenplay to tackle such an idea to see how that perspective could possibly play out. It would be difficult depending on if I choose to take the comedic or dramatic route.
Point blank, when a custody battle between two parents takes the courtroom, the parents must behave like adults, but at the same time the judge has to consider perspectives from both parents and ultimately do what is BEST for the kids. Making the wrong decision could have a detrimental impact not just on one of the parents, but on the kids, and that is the ultimate blow.