Dear Mom and Dear Dad
Remember your child’s perspective during a custody case
I ran across AAML’s statement of “Children’s Rights” that was published in the way-back. It got me thinking about what a kid might say to the parents. Here is a list of some things that I’m pretty sure a kid would say. PARENTS, Listen Up!
- I represent half of each of you. I want to love each of you and I do not want to have to hide my love for my other parent from you.
- Criticizing my other parent in front of me is like telling me you don’t love me.
- I do not want to choose between you and my other parent.
- I have opinions. I have a voice. Please listen to me. BUT, I am a kid and I’m going to tell each of you different things – sometimes about the same subject — because I do not want to disappoint you or make you mad at my other parent.
- Moving back and forth between houses sucks enough without you getting all teary and anxious. I’m going to be back.
- I can adapt to different rules and dynamics at each house. I do it at school and my teachers don’t stand out in the hall and shout about which class is better for me.
- I do not want to know what you and my other parent are fighting over. That’s adult stuff. I’m a kid and I want to play, hang out with my friends, and do fun stuff with people my own age.
- I am not your spy.
- Don’t quiz me about what I do when I’m with my other parent. I’ll tell you what’s important if you’ll let me do it in my way.
- Let me decide for myself whether I like my other parent’s new “friend.” I’m already confused and I have mixed emotions and I want to be able to talk to you without feeling like I’m ratting out my other parent.
- It hurts my feelings terribly and makes me sad (and mad) when you don’t show up or are always late.
- When I win a meet or get an ovation after a performance I want to celebrate with each of you and be praised for my accomplishments. Please don’t take away my joy by making the celebration a competition between you and my other parent.
- I am not your postmaster.
- When I get mad at my other parent I don’t need you to take up for me, and I’m not permanently signing up for #ihatemyparent.
- I love holidays and I love my birthday. If these occasions become riddled with fights between you and my other parent about time and schedules I will never have happy memories.
- You are always and forever my Mom. I will not forget, even if there is another person in my Dad’s life. You don’t have to fight for your place. You will always be #1 Mom, especially if you follow these messages from me.
- You are always and forever my Dad. I will not forget, even if there is another person in my Mom’s life. You don’t have to fight for your place. You will always be #1 Dad, especially if you follow these messages from me.
Love, Me. XOXO