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Monday, February 8, 2010

Children are part of the breakup too

It is common knowledge, if not cultural knowledge, that children should be seen and not heard. Children need to stay in their places. Children need to know their roles. Indeed they do, but………

What are their roles when their parent’s relationship dissolves? Should they be made to observe and respect different sets of rules as they visit the perspective parents? People rarely give great consideration to a child or children that are going through as much or more than the adults during a breakup. While the adults have unceremoniously moved on to the next portion of their lives, the kids are left wandering in the netherworld that is between live's of adults.

How does that child really understand to respect the rules of both houses when they diametrically oppose one another? If bedtime was at 9 when Mom and Dad were an item and now bedtime is 7 at Dad’s because his new relationship requires it, what does that create in that child’s psyche? They are usually left feeling like something or someone was chosen over them and/or their sensibilities.

I trust that that any responsible parent would understand that the “new” rules that are brought upon the child are inconsistent with the child’s upbringing to that point. Many parents fall behind the less complicated thinking of, “The child must obey the rules of the house.” It is substantially MORE complicated than just that. Is this really fair to the child that did not contribute to the breakup? Is this fair to the child that has not moved on as the parents have and should that child be allowed ample time to process this before the parent enters into a new relationship? Is this fair to the child that is heavily leaning on the relationship that they share with both parents to get through the breakup?

Should the comfort that comes with consistency be a factor in ANY decision a parent makes? YES. By no means should that child not be made to follow the rules of the homeowner supplying a roof over the child's head. In saying that, I also acknowledge that the parent of that child should make sure that those rules are consistent with what the child has been reared to be accustomed to. This is the least a good parent can do for their most precious asset before moving on to their new life. Keep this in mind: the child is not OK with the breakup and usually has to suffer the portion of inconsideration. No one considered the child’s input in whatever caused the relationship to fail, nor should they. But they should consider what the breakup is doing to the child and how to best supply comfort in a trying time. Children know when this is not happening; they usually know this and feel it, trust me. It usually manifests itself in some form in the near future, again TRUST ME!

Such issues are a portion among others that grown-ups often fail to give attention to that cause many nights of separated parental drama (better known as baby-mama or baby-daddy drama). There are two sides to every story and usually both sides are proclaiming moral superiority. Often my friends are disgusted with me because I will not side with them when not knowing both sides of an issue. I tend to academically think things through instead of offering myself to their emotion. This pisses people off and I cannot figure out why(sarcastically). Because we are friends does not make the righteous side of an issue yours. I find that there are usually two wrong sides and the most righteous part of the equation lives somewhere between the two.

Our children didn’t ask to be a part of this world, but they are. Since they are, they deserve some love, consistency, support, and some manner of consideration when YOU decide to move on.

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