As a Chaplain I see a lot of what happens to people of all ages that is not of their doing.
Among the effects of divorce on children I see senses of abandonment, guilt, longing for how things used to be, withdrawal, mechanisms of defense and isolation.
They feel alone, as if no one else is going through what they are.
Mrs. E. and I founded and run a program for children of all ages, religions (including no religion), races, ethnicities, both genders etc.
We call it "A Safe Place".
It is a time and place twice each week when children of divorce can be with other children in the same situation.
They share how they feel, cope, what does and doesn't work for them.
They find they are not alone in this. They make new friends.
Once per week they talk, and then play together.
One day weekly they have dinner with Mrs. E. and me.
It is a chance, two times every seven days to be with two surrogate parents who are not fighting. We do not get them caught in the middle of something having nothing to do with them.
It is a throw back to what they used to have, for those who once had it.
For those who never did, they get to experience something they never had.
In her 70's, Mrs. E. can skip rope with the best of them.
I still have my sky hook, albeit two thirds of a century worse for wear on the basketball court.
We have dinner every Sunday at 1:00 P.M.
Mrs. E. makes bowls and trays of savory foods at the advance request of each child.
Initially, every young one only eats what they asked to have. Over time, as they make friends, they try new things their buddies favor, and vice versa.
It is progressively easier for each attendee to risk trying new things. After all, at our group,. they are in their safe place.
Peace, Abundant Blessings, and a Safer Feeling for All Children of Divorce.