Family Frameworks

A year to help our children


Mar 2013


This week as I was seeing my precious little ones in the Well Clinic, I walked into a room and saw a very sad 10 year old and a bouncy but slower than usual 4 year old.  Not too different than usual, but it struck me as odd cause I knew this child and didn’t remember her being so sad.   Her little face was so precious but those lips were turned down ward and the eyes were moist.  I looked at her and said ” you aren’t usually this sad to see me what’s going on?”  Huge alligator tears started rolling down her cheeks and she couldn’t even speak.  Her chin was quivering and face went downward.  I looked at her mom and said  “My goodness, what’s happening?”  She said “She’s been like this for quite some time.  I can’t get her out of this crying, she won’t do anything without crying, that’s why we are here.”  I asked Mom what was happening, was anything different at school, does she have friends, how’s her grades?  Mom said all was good but her teachers say she cries a lot.  I said what’s happened at home.  Mom looked and said “Well, her stepdad left about a year ago, but that’s all”.  That’s all?  I looked at this sweet girl and asked her the next question, “When was the last time you talked with your Daddy?”  Mom said she does that a lot, but she looked at me and said, “I don’t remember when I talked to him”.  It may have been last week, but when Daddy is not in the home, the children cannot remember and it seems like it’s an eternity.  Mom then said I know she must miss her step dad.  I didn’t get that feeling, I asked her do you miss your Daddy or your stepdaddy?  She looked at me and said, “My Daddy”.  

We may think that the children are flexible, but they are not.  I almost need a special code for this diagnosis in children.  I was listening today to a sermon and I heard an interesting statistic,  more children are exhibiting symptoms of anxiety today than adults exhibited in the 1950’s.  Children are supposed to be so happy go lucky.

Here’s another case,  walked into the room right after my lunch break to a 12 year old with her grandmother holding her.  Grandmother looks at me and says,  “I’m going to have to have some medicine to deal with this”  the child had been experiencing agoraphobia for the past month.  This is the fear of being around people.  She was not able to go to school, as soon as she would get into her classroom she would start sobbing uncontrollably.  Looking into her story.  Grandmother was raising her, mom was not in the picture at all and daddy came occasionally.

Yes, I know this has been going on throughout history, but why does it seem to be more now than it was 50 years ago?  Why do the children seem to be worse?  How has this happened?

I was blessed this past Tuesday when I got to meet a gentleman that has a similar passion as mine.  A passion to see families have a better chance to stay together by getting the word out about how devastating divorce is.  We want to debunk the myth that the children bounce easily.  How long will we tell this lie!  Greg Griffin has found this to be a lie also and has watched his precious boys suffer through his divorce.  He wants to make a difference here in Georgia as I do.  He has started working to change the laws for irreconcilable differences divorce laws to give a full year of discernment before filing for divorce with education for the couple.  We know that the states that have a longer discernment period such as South Carolina, and Maryland, the divorces decrease tremendously.  People have a second chance to think about what they want to do.  But I think that one thing that needs to make sure to happen is that there is education that goes along with this period.  You don’t know what it’s like until you have actually experienced it.  Waiting IS helpful.

We really need to think about this for the Children’s Sake!!   If you know a state senator and can help us make a difference here in Georgia, would you please help us to get this change passed?  Let me know.

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