I believe that, in most cases, there is nothing parents would not do to ensure that their children grow up to happy, healthy, well-adjusted human beings. It has been my experience that parents, whether divorcing or not, want guidance on how to make this happen.
The issue when it comes to divorce is whether parents should sacrifice so much for their children that they choose not to divorce even though they desperately want to do so. I do not know the answer to this issue. I, for one, do not advocate for people staying married for the sake of their children. This is not because I believe that happy parents make for happy children and therefore that if parents are happier divorced than they would be married then their children will be happier. It is also not because I believe that children will not be harmed by divorce at least for some period and likely for a very long period of time. It is also not because I believe that we should not sacrifice for our children. I think that parents are constantly sacrificing for their children and are doing so willingly, wholeheartedly and happily.
The reason that I think that parents should not sacrifice (choosing to stay together) solely for the children is because I truly believe that divorce can be done in a way that drastically reduces the negative impacts of divorce on children.
This, however, does require sacrifice. It means that parents who decide to divorce must do so knowing that they must put their children’s needs at the forefront of the divorce process. This means putting the children’s needs before the needs of the parents. This means that when one parent has visitation with the children and the children want to hang out with their friends, the parent with visitation lets them hang out with their friends. It means that when one parent has custody of the children and one of the children wants to live with the other parent, the parent with custody considers and explores and if necessary, honors that child’s desire. It means that when the children want to stay in the family home and the parents want to sell it and move to a different neighborhood and school, that the parents seriously research and learn what it will mean for their children socially, educationally and economically for their children to have to move.
These are not easy issues and many people go to court to fight over them or just plain fight over them within their family to the detriment of their children. The fighting creates an added layer to any pain that the children are feeling and, in addition to failing to honor the children, it puts them very low on the ladder of priorities. I am not pro-divorce or anti-divorce, but I am pro-children and I am pro-children during divorce. I believe that parents can do divorce in a way that truly elevates the needs of their children and meets these needs before much of the damage of divorce can occur.
I would love to hear from you whether you think that choosing not to divorce is a sacrifice that parents should make for their children and whether you think that if parents choose to divorce they can make a different kind of sacrifice and truly put their children’s post-divorce needs ahead of their own needs