Friday, August 22, 2008
Divorce, Children, and the Family Home
What happens to the sense of "home" for children when there is a divorce? Some couples choose to have one of the spouses stay in the family home, but in most cases each spouse moves to a new residence. Not all couples can afford to keep the family home, they just don't have the resources to be able to do that. It is not necessary, for the well being of the children, to do so. There are a lot of other factors that come into play when deciding what is best for the children. First of all, we have to define what is it that makes a home? Is it the house itself, the dwelling in which memories were made? Is it the family within the house? What happens then when the family is being torn apart? I believe it is "Love" that makes a family feel at home. It doesn't matter what house they reside in, as long as children feel a sense of love and belonging, they can still feel at home. If each parent lets their child know that they are always welcome, and that they always have a special spot in their heart and in their home, children will feel a sense of home, family, and belonging. Children need to know that they will always be welcomed in whichever home they visit their parent in, or that they themselves live in with their parent. Spouses may remarry or cohabitate with new partners, but children should always be made to feel that they still have a place in the home, if not physical, certainly an emotional space. There is the saying, "Home is where the heart is", that is not just a cliche, there is a lot of wisdom in that statement. The Dean Martin song comes to mind, "Memories are made of this". The song goes like this; With his blessings from above, serve it generously with love, one man, one wife, one love through life, memories are made of this. When there is a divorce the children are the one love through life that endures. As parents, we shape their memories, and it is our duty, to do it generously...through love.