Children Caught in the Middle

by: Pat Bubash, M.Ed. 

January is a big month for Rosalind Sedacca, creator of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. She is the initiator of International Child-Centered Divorce Month which provides free gifts for divorcing and divorced parents throughout January:

How many of us were aware that January is the month with the highest number of divorces? Certainly, not me. I was awarded my divorce (first one) in the lovely month of May. I can be glib about this piece of information, but there is nothing glib about what Rosalind wants to accomplish by bringing International Child Centered Divorce to the attention of parents. Children are so often viewed as resilient, accepting, and, uninvolved in the process that ends their family unit. The adults in the children’s lives are so entrenched in the process of the divorce -- emotionally, financially and physically -- that they overlook what their children are also experiencing. They fail to notice that, indeed, their children are experiencing similar emotions. For them, security and stability has been compromised. The big question, “If mom and dad no longer love each other, what about me?”

I recently watched a film, The Way Way Back. It is a coming of age movie that so emphasizes the role of children when parents divorce, decide to move on, and find a new love. Steve Carroll is the love interest in the life of a divorced mother played by Toni Collette. Collette is so excited about this new man, his obvious resources (a house at the beach), and his attentiveness to her. He is really into her! Yes, he is very smitten with her, but so not smitten with her teen age son: a boy struggling with a lack of self-worth, low self-esteem and missing the involved mom who is now nonexistent. Steve Carroll has no problem supporting the image this young man has of himself. Carroll asks him on the ride to the beach, “How do you rate yourself from 1-10?" The young man shrugged his shoulders with no idea how to respond. Carroll tells him, “I see you as a three!" Constantly, he is criticizing, belittling Collette’s son. The boy finds a way to be away from this blow hard, finding a job at a water park. In doing so he finds a mentor, a man who sees his emerging good qualities, abilities. As the boy finds himself, he also discovers the lack of worth in the man his mother has taken up with. He sees that he is deceitful, unfaithful, and unconscionable.

As the movie progresses and Collette watches this ongoing put down of her son, you feel yourself getting angry and saying, “What kind of mother are you? This child was in your life way before this pompous jerk. Speak up for your son!" I bet if you think back, you either experienced a similar situation or you watched someone who did. It is not easy for us to find a quality person who will be in love with us, and our children. Not only do children lose what they thought would be a forever family, but like this young man, have to learn to adjust to a new person. As I indicate in my book, Successful Second Marriages, more than half of those who divorce will marry again.Not an easy situation when children are part of the package, but they were your love before this new person. They need you. We divorce our spouses, but we shouldn’t divorce our children.

Rosalind’s special website in January contains a wealth of information (did I mention, all FREE) contributed by many experts. The goal of Rosalind and her experts is to provide parents access to invaluable information – advice and tips that might lessen the anguish and difficulty of the process of divorce with children. With such tools a parent can understand and be more aware of the feelings and emotions children are also, experiencing. Knowledge is power over difficult situations, helping us to navigate through with fewer bumps. Oh, and do watch the movie; it has a powerful ending!

To access the free ebooks, coaching, audio programs and other free gifts from divorce experts around the world, visit:

Patricia Bubash received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Working with students and families has been her true calling for over thirty years.  For more than twenty years she has presented workshops at the community college on a variety of topics relating to parenting issues, self-esteem and issues relative to divorce.  Patricia is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and, a Stephen Minister.  She submits a variety of articles related to relationships, marriage and divorce to several internet sites, and, frequently, is interviewed on internet radio stations. Volunteerism, writing and family are most significant in her life. Patricia writes for, and