Spoiled Children of Divorce


Successful Women More Likely To Get a Divorce

An article, “Top jobs lead to divorce for women, but not for men” at World Economic Forum (weforum.org) discusses how successful women are more likely to get divorced than successful men. Variables leading to this are discussed in the article. Couples are less likely to divorce if they share parental leave, for example. They almost got around to discussing the effects of this on the kids… If a child’s parents are successful probably the child doesn’t see much of them so I guess divorce isn’t that big of a deal for them, is it?



U.S. Census Data on Child Support

The U.S. Census does extensive work to track what kinds of financial support children receive from separated parents. It looks like the latest tabulated results are from 2015. Can’t say I can interpret them very easily but appreciate reading all the different categories. I think that non-custodial parents spend as much on gifts as they do on food. And, either way, that might not be much.

I remember the check coming sometime in the middle of the month. I remember being called Child #2 and my older brother was called Child #1. I remember the bartering over who will get the tax deductions this year. I remember being left alone in the house with boxes of cereal and gallons of ice cream to eat. I remember eating from my Mother’s doggie bags from her dates. I remember my Step-Mother bragging about how decadent the restaurant was that she and my Father had recently eaten at. I remember my Step-Sister ordering the Lobster to screw my Father out of his money.

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2015/demo/families/p60-262-tables.html



Child Custody Battle is Allegedly Reason for 2015 Roden Family Murders in Ohio

After about 3 years’ investigation law enforcement arrested 4 family members for the 2015 murders of 8 family members in Ohio. At the time it seemed obvious that the murders were drug related as pot farms were found at three of the four homes where victims were found.

Daily Beast article here.

Instead, guess what? It was a custody battle. The lives of three of the children living in the homes were spared. Their parents and grandparents were murdered execution style while they slept. The alleged murderers are from the Wagner clan:  George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner, George Wagner IV, Edward “Jake” Wagner. They had been planned for months and then moved to Alaska after the murders. Two grandmothers were arrested as accomplices.

Jake was an ex-boyfriend of Hanna Roden. They shared a 3 year old daughter. Hanna had just given birth to a daughter 5 days before and at age 19 was one of the victims. Jake thought he was also the newborn’s father.

Remember the lyrics “You only hurt the ones you love….” Family Court is the most violent court there is. Most mass murders are family related. Apparently potheads aren’t as non violent as they are made out to be. And there isn’t as much publicity about family problems as there are about drug dealing because the press has kept pretty silent.

From the article:

“According to Governor Mike DeWine (article says DeWine is Attorny General but I don’t think that’s correct). … “‘This is just the most bizarre story I’ve ever seen in being involved in law enforcement,’ …. adding that the defendants had an “obsession” with custody and controlling children connected to the victims.”

“In April 2016, eight members of the Rhoden family—ranging in age from 16 to 44—were found shot and killed in their beds in four different homes. Three of those houses had large marijuana farms, authorities said.”

 



Movie – Divorce Corp

Just saw a great movie which portrays Divorce as a huge industry. It’s called Divorce Corp. The movie says that Divorce is a 50 Billion dollar industry in the United States. The way Divorce is handled in Scandinavia is compared. People rarely bring in a lawyer. Custody problems are rarely an issue, at least for the parents. Some information is given about how children who don’t have Fathers have a much more difficult time in life, 200 percent higher suicide rates, for example. It’s really interesting that a movie like this doesn’t interview a single child victim of a custody battle. That 50 Billion $ would grow massively if one calculated financial loss of children from divorce both through career, divorces of their own, health problems, etc.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Elon Musk

The numbers of Children of Divorce who are included on Time Magazine’s 100 People of the Year Lists has gone up. I forgot the exact count, maybe 11 to 13. Plus about 5 more people who grew up in a single parent family where the parents never married. I couldn’t find out information on about 20 of the people on the list so I’m not taking these numbers too seriously. What I’m really happy about is the quality of the Children of Divorce on this list because many included are probably not really very impressive leaders in my opinion.

Elon Musk is one of the super impressive ones. Musk is a visionary who takes big risks like creating car company Tesla and turning space travel into a tourist industry. He must have watched a lot of “The Jetsons” when he was a kid. Actually I think he was busy doing other stuff. According to Wikipedia Musk read a lot. Became interested in computing at at 10. That’s just a year after his parents’ divorce so maybe have a lot of time to himself contributed to this. Must taught himself programming at Age 12.

According to this article from BusinessInsider, Musk describes his childhood as “excruciating.” He grew up in South Africa. His Mother was a Model from Canada and his Father was an Electromechanical engineer. His parents divorced in 1980 so Musk would have been around 9 at that time. After two years he lived exclusively with his Father. He says that this was a mistake and that his Father was emotionally abusive. They are currently estranged. According to People Magazine Musk’s Father had a child with his step-daughter who is, of course, his step-daughter, but is also 40 years younger. His Father calls Elon a spoiled child…..ah, hahahahahahahahahaha. How appropriate for a Child of Divorce. What a lovely man, and how many of these idiots are out there?

Musk’s Mother is the covergirl of a company. She talks about how she created the entrepreneurial spirit in her children in this Businessinsider article.

Musk is the oldest of 3 children in his first family, a brother and sister. He also has a half-brother and half-sister.

Musk was also deeply affected by bullying at school. During one episode he had to be hospitalized. He was knocked unconscious when some boys threw him down a concrete stairwell.

The Month that Musk turned 18 he got out of dodge and moved to Canada where he was able to get a passport because his Mother was Canadian. He finished two Bachelors degrees in Physics and Economics and then moved to California to get a Ph.d at Stanford. But dropped out after 2 days in order to start businesses. He partnered with his brother for his first business (funded at least in part by hs Mother) and has since started a series of successful companies such as PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, the space rocket company.

According to Wikipedia Musk has been married and divorced three times, but the last two were to the same woman. He had 6 children with his first wife, but the first baby died of SIDs after 10 weeks.

According to this article in SiliconBeat someone got onto Musk’s Twitter account and asked him if he is Bipolar so he may have some issues. Musk answered “yeah” but qualifies that as not clinical.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Mishna Wolff

Mishna Wolff is a writer of a humorous memoir called I’m Down about growing up white in an all black neighborhood. Chapter One describes her parents’ divorce when she was seven. Wolff was surprised to learn that she would continue to live with her Father while seeing her Mother on the week-ends. At the time she is not surprised by her parents’ decision to divorce because she has always felt they were “mismatched.” She is surprised to find that she won’t attend the custody hearing so that everyone would want to hear her preferences. Surprise, Surprise.

Mishna was the oldest of two daughters. Her Father paid her an allowance to look after her little sister. She takes on this responsibility with a light hearted attitude.

Sorry, that’s the only chapter I’ve read so far. Just get so excited when I see anyone giving any opinions at all about their divorce experience couldn’t wait.



Mr. Rogers Versus Mandated Reporters

Mr. Rogers had a way of talking with little kids that comforted the parents. In Divorce this is essential for the health of the child. Parents of Divorce Children are very busy and preoccupied. They are doing the best they can, but it is essential that they talk with their children about the divorce and about their own behaviors while trying to encourage the child to speak about his/her feelings and observations.

While working around some children I couldn’t help but notice that they will start talking about their parents and the divorce almost immediately if given a chance. It sounded like a cry for help to me. But, I didn’t feel I had the right to get involved. Children want an adult to discuss this stuff with. In one case I happened to tell someone who was a mandated reporter about one of the children. I wasn’t aware of the mandated reporter thing. Without any discussion, the child was removed from the problem parents’ custody within a day or two. I don’t know whether this was already in the works and that I had nothing to do with any of it, but the child stopped talking to me. The child was also crying a lot and the custodial parent became fairly grumpy. It’s surprising to me that most children of divorce will openly discuss what is going on at home and, although they speak about it in simple terms, they sound very stressed out. I guess most adults will hear a child say “My Mother is sick. I don’t see my Father very much. My parents are getting a divorce” and still not understand that an adult going through 3 such stressors would be drinking, yelling, calling in sick to work, going to the shrink, medicating, and who knows what else. For some reason, when a child says this most people ignore it. Maybe they tell the child to hang tight while their parents get their act together. This, of course, can take five years.

That is why I recommend that parents watch Mr. Rogers’ episodes on dealing with divorce. His understanding is kind of stupid. He makes a big point out of assuring the child that he/she is not to blame for the parents’ split. That applies to only a percentage of children, not all. In some cases a parent leaves because he/she can’t handle children, or they can’t handle having children with the ex so they vanish from the life. And the child knows it. And internalizes it because it is taboo to talk about and nobody can do anything to help. It’s amazing how the Blame Thing is the only element that gets through to adults. Obviously it’s a projection which arises from the Divorce because Blame is a huge fighting factor in the courts. It spills over on to the kids either directly or indirectly through observation.

At any rate, it’s best for a parent to talk with one’s children directly unless one wants one’s children discussing their problems with Social Workers. If the parent tell their kids that they are not to blame one can expect that a step-parent will come along who will.

In the end, let’s face it. Things go on behind divorced walls that aren’t good parenting. When the child goes to school they compare themselves to the other kids who are living much simpler lives. Okay, so that’s another stressor in addition to switching parents/home twice a week, having to talk about friends and school twice, having to monitor parents’ feelings about what happened while with the other parent…

Okay, okay, so there is stuff that Mr. Rogers doesn’t talk about…Kids going through divorce need extra parenting, not less. Instead, they get extra parents, which can often lead to even more stress. Would be great if schools would allow a child to talk with an interested third party without fear of mandated reporting.