It’s not uncommon in my practice that I provide adolescent therapy to children whose parents are divorced. Often times the focus of our sessions are on how to effectively maintain relationships with both parents while at the same time staying clear of the conflict between the parents. I recently came across a list of rights made for children of divorced parents and thought that it was worth sharing. When conflict arises either during or after a divorce, it can be helpful to sit down as a family and review this list of rights. If parents recognize these rights, and follow them, it can allow children the ability for growth, and emotional development as they become adults.
As children of divorced parents:
- We have the right to know why our parents became separated and/or divorced; especially to know that we’re not at fault for their decision.
- We have the right not to participate in or witness conflicts between parents. This includes the freedom from defending one parent to another and declining requests to act as an intermediary in helping one parent communicate with the other.
- We have the right to show affection to both parents.
- We have the right to see both parents. This includes the right to work with parents in deciding how to spend holiday, vacation, and visitation times.
- We have the right to talk to each parent, and ask questions about divorce.
- We have the right to see both parents together at special occasions, and times that are important to us.
- We have the right to express feelings and needs to both parents.
- We e have the right to live securely, to know that we have two parents who love us, and we should not be expected to make choices about which parent we love the most.
- We have the right not to hear negative remarks about the other parent, ever.
- We have the right to talk about one parent in the presence of the other without negative feedback or judgment.
- We have the right to keep and display (in our own rooms) photos and other remembrances of the other parent.
Copyright, 2012, Benjamin Wolf. Blog entries and other materials available on Hope & Healing For Life’s website are intended to stimulate thoughts and conversations. If you or someone you know suffers from a mental illness, you are strongly encouraged to seek help from a mental health professional / psychotherapist in St. Paul MN . For further information about this blog, or Hope & Healing For Life, contact Ben Wolf at 612-643-1920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.