Parents, Children, and Divorce/Martin Rosenfeld
A mediator by the name of Jeff Murphy recently wrote an article whose title reveals all. The article is entitled: “The Dangers of Badmouthing Your Ex to the Kids”. We all know why such behavior is destructive. Mr. Murphy puts some reality testing in the discussion by describing a technique he employs. He tells the parents to imagine being at their child’s high school graduation. What do you think, he asks, your child will consider about the way her/his parents conducted themselves post-divorce? Will the child believe that the parents always acted with the interests of the child in mind, or were they motivated by enmity, vengeful thinking, etc.
There is a taped discussion that is in the President L. B. Johnson library in which LBJ exhorts Governor Wallace of Alabama to protect the rights of the civil rights protestors who plan to make Alabama their next stop. Governor Wallace is not prepared to commit to guarantee anything. Finally, LBJ asks him: “George how would you like your tombstone to read: George Wallace…he built or George Wallace…he hated?” Think about how your actions will affect your children post-divorce. Then consider the questions suggested by the Mediator, Jeff Murphy.
Mediate don’t litigate.
Martin Rosenfeld is a Fair Lawn mediator. He can be reached at 201.794.4545 or Rosenfeld@Juno.Com