WNY Family Magazine September 2018 - Page 47

Allowing them to learn who they are a part of does not mean they will become like them, but simply gives them a frame of reference from which to define their own lives. Kids will naturally gravitate toward the behaviors they feel a connec- tion to and differentiate themselves from those that don’t fit. Parental values in the home will drive this process, so parents should focus on what is going on in their own homes and allow kids the freedom to experience their extended family as they are. The right to be a kid. Bottom line — kids should not have to worry about adult problems. They should have the right to concentrate on school work, friends, activities, and growing up emo- tionally. This can be enhanced by par- ents who are sensitive enough not to bring the kids in on every event and de- cision surrounding the divorce. Kids do best when the adults devise the plan on their own and simply tell the kids what it is and what is expected of them. READING & WRITING TUTORING Providing literacy help to WNY since 1963 645-2470 buffalo.edu/clari Fall, Spring & Summer Tutoring chicken bbq, cider ( sweet & hard ) You would never show your child an X-rated movie because you realize in your parental wisdom that your child may be traumatized, confused, and dis- turbed by the mental pictures, and will have no appropriate place to put it in their computer bank of life experiences. By the same token, kids should not be privy to most of the details of the di- vorce experience because they simply do not have adult minds to handle the complexities of it — even teenagers. Parents need to be the adults so that kids can be kids. When all is said and done, it is not the fact of divorce or that kids live in sin- gle parent home that determines whether children become part of the negative statistics. It is our failing to protect chil- dren’s rights that has the greatest nega- tive impact on our society. Diane C. Dierks is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also author of “The Co-Parent Toolbox” (2014 Aha! Publishing) and “Solo Parenting: Raising Strong & Hap- py Families” (1997 Fairview Press). To learn more visit www.dianedierks.com. September 2018 WNY Family 47