Spoiled Children of Divorce

October 6, 2011, 5:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Time Magazine’s cover story in this week’s issue is an article on Favoritism in families.  The article discusses how parents prefer one child over another in most families and how this affects the children.  I didn’t read through the entire thing once I realized that the hell of living in a step-family adds yet another layer for kids.

Once Mom and Dad split, their relationship with each child might change.  There actually might be a more positive shift as they don’t have to compete with the other parent for attention from the child. But, then the child might have to lose this attention when the parent remarries.  And then everyone will discuss it and try to make the feelings go away.  (But who’s kidding themselves on that one, really).

Probably the favorite child becomes the one who says that he/she enjoys the divorce.  Baby’s first big lie.  That will also be the kid who becomes the manipulative little bastard and will charge lots of money to credit cards and other passive aggressive expressions of rage.

Kids from divorce, as with all kids who experience big traumas during childhood, often develop much deeper and more intimate relationships with parents or siblings.  Trauma bonds people.  They share more secrets. Sometimes this can become really sick and the relationship goes through really difficult spells later on when the child is an adult and must “divorce” the parent in order to have his/her own life.

If favoritism among blood relatives has such a dramatic impact in an intact family, what kind of hell must children balance between favoritism in biological families and then favoritism within step-families?  From all the defensive comments from step-mothers that I receive on this blog (and no longer publish because this blog isn’t about step-parents) I have come to believe that most step-mothers naively think that they can compensate for what they see is unfair behavior in biological families.  Sometimes I think they can.  But, mostly, I think that kids crave the love to come from their real parents.  Families have irrational quirks and secrets.  This is the weird creative seed of life.  I’m not saying that it is good.  I’m just saying that it exists for whatever reason.

Kids from divorce have to exist on so many extra levels than kids from intact families do.  I suspect that the reason that psychologists ignore this is because most psychologists have low iqs.  Really, they do.  They don’t even know that the study of psychology is not about them.

I suppose my own resentment is here: while the kids from the intact families bounce from topic to topic trying to understand how their families messed them up, kids from divorced families are further urged not to discuss their feelings.  Or, they are supposed to go to therapy when they are 5 years old.  How is a 5 year old going to understand a divorce?  Really.  Scary thing is that I suspect that they do understand a whole lot of it on the emotional level and have no words to express it.

The psychological professions are now trying to re-word the step-family situation with other words which don’t give off such a negative connotation.  Crap, the kids already can’t talk about their feelings because they are witnessing relationships that they can’t possibly understand on a heart or experience level.  This just adds one more oppressive lie to the pot.

It’s not okay to void the experience.  Remember that, parents.  You can’t get the kids to discuss a divorce because most haven’t even gone on a date yet.  They don’t get it.  They say they do, but they don’t.  They will help you figure out who to date, what to wear, how to balance your finances, whatever.  So adult.

Down the line when they do get it, they might be haunted by some ghosts that they don’t quite remember, especially during their first divorce (which they are very likely to go through) (and which will be amazingly similar to your own divorce).

How did I get here while starting out on the topic of favoritism?  Oh yeah, I suppose favoritism brings up those ideas of who you really do love and who you really could do without in your life.  And that’s what divorce is about.

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