All parents care deeply about their children’s welfare, but during the stressful time of divorce there are many intense emotional ups and downs, many demanding decisions and changes to attend to, and times when it can be challenging to muster energy for the high quality parenting we know our children need. Especially if our child is resilient and seems to be doing well enough, even the best parents sometimes get overwhelmed with their own problems and can forget that divorce up-ends the lives of our children, too.
Take a look at this video clip of a six-year old girl explaining to her mother what she needs from her parents during their divorce. It has gone viral on YouTube, because this child articulates so clearly how she feels and what will help her weather this big change in her life. She doesn’t only care about herself: she expresses remarkable caring for her parents, too, and sees that handling the divorce transition well matters to the entire community and even the world.
Watch it. Give it to your spouse. Give it to your lawyer, too.
And remember: interdisciplinary collaborative team divorce is the only divorce process that builds in a voice for and to the children–the Collaborative Child Specialist–so that their perspective on the divorce can be expressed in a safe way and their needs can be understood clearly and accurately by both parents.
Pauline H. Tesler, J.D., CFLS, is a collaborative divorce lawyer practicing in Marin and San Francisco.
photo credit: Ann Buscho, Ph.D.