January 20, 2012Divorce and Remarriage Affects Kids
Recently on your radio program the subject of divorce and especially remarriage has come up a lot.
My first love is baseball. When I married my 2nd love (but first wife), our first child was our son. By the time he could stand, I was teaching him to swing a plastic bat...sometimes indoors, which was not exactly to the delight of his mother. When he turned 5, he was old enough to play on a T-ball team and soon I found myself coaching his teams. My first love was rekindled.
By the time he was about 10, I started noticing my team roster, where the parents would provide emergency contact info, would have the mom and the dad at different addresses more and more frequently until it was around half the time. I thought this bore witness to the 50% divorce rate you hear about. Before long, I could identify the kids whose parents were divorced without a roster. Those kids almost always wanted or needed to talk to you more. They often could converse better with adults than their peers, and generally preferred to - which always made me sad.
Another trend I noticed was the kid whose divorced custodial parent was now remarried. These kids (you could tell almost without exception) were not cared about. There was one kid whose parents had him ride his bike to and from practice, along a busy state highway, at age 12. A couple of times I'd ride him home because it was raining and I couldn't let him ride home in the rain, although he fully intended to. (What choice did he have?) At the end of that summer, mom and stepdad decided to move to another state. This kid, who had spent a weekend with our family, actually wanted to stay and live with my family instead of being uprooted again by the "family" who frankly didn't give a crap about him.
I could go on and on with stories like this about divorced parents and the effect I, as a coach, could see in these kids. Parents want to delude themselves kids can handle it and aren't affected, but when basically a stranger who sees your kids a few hours a week for an 8-12 week season can see it, then it's undeniable. Divorce hurts kids and remarriage absolutely devastates them.
Thank you for all you do to encourage us to do the right thing. My son is 18 now, and I am still happily married to my "2nd love."
Posted by Staff at 2:11 PM