- Continue to love both parents without guilt or disapproval (subtle or overt) by either parent or relatives.
- Be repeatedly reassured that the divorce is not thier fault.
- Be reassured they are safe and thier needs will be provided for.
- Have a special place for thier own belongings at both parent's residences.
- Visit both parents regardless of what the adults in the situation feel, and regardless of convenience, or money situations.
- Express anger and sadness in thier own way, according to age and personality (not have to give justification for thier feelings or have to cope with trying to be talked out of thier feelings by adults).
- Not be messengers between parents; not to carry notes, legal papers, money or requests between parents.
- Not make adult decisions, including where they willlive, where and when they will be picked up or dropped off, or who is to blame.
- Love as many people as they choose withouth being made to feel guilty or disloyal. (Loving and being loved by many people is good for children; there is not a limit on the number of people a child can love.)
- Continue to be kids, i.e. not take on adult duties and responsibilities or become a parent's special confindant, companion, or comforter (i.e. not to hear repeatedly about financial problems or relationship difficulties).
- Stay in contact with relatives, including grandparents and special family friends.
- Choose to spend at least one week a year living apart from thier custodial parent.
- Not to be on an airplane, train or bus on major holidays for the convenience of adults.
- Have teachers and school informed about the new status of thier family.
- Have time with each parent doing activities that create a sense of closeness and special memories.
- Have a daily and weekly routine that is predictable and can be verified by looking at a schedule on a calendar in a system understandable to the child. (For instance: a green line represents scheduled time with dad, and a purple line represents the scheduled time with mom, etc.)
- Participate in sports, special classes or clubs that will support thier unique interests, and have adults that will get them to these events, on time without guilt or shame.
- Contact the absent parent and have phone conversations without easedropping or tape-recording.
- Ask questions and have them answered respectfully with age-appropriate answers that do not include blaming or belittlements of others.
- Be exposed to both parent's religious ideas (without shame), hobbies, interests and tastes in food.
- Have consistent and predictable boundaries in each home. (Although the rules in each house may differ significantly, each parent's set of rules needs to be predictable within thier household.)
- Be protected from hearing adult arguments and disputes.
- Have parents communicate (even if it is only in writing) about thier medical treatment, psychological treatment, educational issues, accidents and illnesses.
- Not be interrogated upon return from the other parent's home or asked to spy in the other parent's home.
- Own pictures of both parents.
- Choose to talk with a special adult about thier concerns and issues (counselor, therapist or special friend).
Friday, November 2, 2012
Rights of Children of Divorce..
I found this, and printed it out on 9/26/2004 and have used this as my bible for Chase and it will now be how I hold myself for Sebastian as well. I have not been a perfect parent, but I have done the best I can with what I have been given. My boys are my world, and I would do everything and anything I can to bring them up with the strengths to carry them through life, and the compassion to see life through everyone's eyes and not just thier own. Thanks you to Dr. Lois V. Nightingale for sharing this so I can learn from it. After 7 long years, I am seeing the positive in just simply keeping these rules handy.