Divorce Rules

Dear Mum and Dad. I’m just a kid, so please 

Do not talk badly about my other parent. This makes me feel torn apart! It makes me feel bad about myself!)

Do not talk negatively about my other parent’s friends or relatives. Let me care for someone even if you don’t. 

Do not talk about the divorce or other grown-up stuff. This makes me feel sick. Please leave me out of it!

Do not talk about money or child support. This makes me feel guilty or like I’m a possession instead of your kid. 

Do not make me feel bad when I enjoy my time with my other parent. This makes me afraid to tell you things.

Do not block my visits or prevent me from speaking to my other parent on the phone. This makes me very upset.

Do not interrupt my time with my other parent by calling too much or by planning my activities during our time together.

Do not argue in front of me or one the phone when I can hear you! This just turns my stomach inside out!.

Do not ask me to spy for you when I am at my other parent’s home. This makes me feel disloyal and dishonest. 

Do not ask me to keep secrets from my other parent. Secrets make me feel anxious.

Do not ask me questions about my other parent’s life or about our time together. This makes me uncomfortable. So just let me tell you.

Do not give me verbal messages to deliver to my other parent. I end up feeling anxious about their reaction. So please just call or message them yourself. And be polite like you expect me to be. 

Do not send written messages with me or place them in my bag. This also makes me uncomfortable.

Do not blame my other parent for the divorce or for things that go wrong in your life. This really feels terrible! I end up wanting to defend them from your attack. Sometimes it makes me feel sorry for you and that makes me want to protect you. I just want to be a kid, so please, please.  stop putting me into the middle!. 

Do not treat me like an adult or lean on me for support. It causes way too much stress for me Please find a friend or a therapist to talk with. 

Do not ignore my other parent or sit on the opposite side of the room during my school or sports activities. This makes me very sad and embarrassed. Please act like parents and be friendly, even if it is just for me. 

Do let me take gifts or my things to my other home. Otherwise, it feels like you are treating me like a possession. 

Do not use guilt to pressure me to love you more and do not ask me where I want to live. 

Do realise that I have two homes, not just one. It doesn’t matter how much time I spend there. 

Do let me love both of you and see each of you as much as possible! Be flexible even when it is not part of our regular schedule.

Thanks

Acknowledging S. Boyan & A.Termini (1999), Cooperative Parenting Institute