Divorce is a difficult topic to raise with our kids, even for those of us at SupportPay – and we are experienced divorce professionals! We turned to one of the world’s top co-parenting experts, author and speaker Christian McGee, MSW, to get some help.
According to Christina, author of “PARENTING APART: How separated and divorced parents can raise happy and secure kids,” divorce is not a single moment but one that unfolds over time. It becomes a part of children’s lives and their family story. That doesn’t mean, however, that children are doomed to emotional scaring or a lifetime of dysfunction. The way parents manage the process has a huge impact on how children process divorce. When children are able to openly talk about how their family changes, and have their feelings validated and supported, they can grow up to be resilient and happy. It’s really not the challenges children face, but how they meet them, that will define their experience.
Divorce, Christina says, doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you a parent going through a bad time. During this time, parents want to support their children and they want to have open and honest conversations. Often they don’t know what to say or how to start the conversation though.
Taking a Different Approach
To help parents and children everywhere, Christina worked with renowned documentary filmmaker and human rights activist Ellen Bruno to produce the movie “Split: a film for kids of divorce (and their parents).” She also co-authored a film discussion guide.
Told through the eyes of children experiencing divorce, Split is touching, heart-wrenching, and insightful. You can see the trailer here: SPLIT – A Film for Kids of Divorce (and their Parents) about the effects of Divorce on Kids
Split features twelve incredibly brave children (6-12 years old) who offer an unfiltered glimpse of what it really feels like for kids when parents part. Pulling back the curtain on all the unspoken worries children often face, Split is filled with straight-from-the-heart wisdom that provides hope and healing.
One of the big problems Split tackles is how to talk about divorce with kids, by offering parents and kids an opportunity to have meaningful conversations. As parents ourselves, we understand it is much easier to talk about what we see in a film or read in a book than what’s happening in our own lives. Split helps to break the ice around tough conversation by giving families something to discuss and by initiating those conversations. Split is a conversation jumping-off point that reassures you and your kids that it’s okay to talk about these issues.
But wait, there's more!
Have tweens or teens? There is a Split for you! Over the years, filmmaker Ellen Bruno kept in touch with the kids from the first film. Noticing how much they grew and changed, Ellen decided to re-interview each child as a young adult. She was able to talk to 11 out of the 12 original kids and what she discovered was fascinating. Even years later after the split, these “children” still had a lot to say. “Split UP: the teen years” is scheduled for release in February, 2022, but they need your help to bring these children’s voices back to the big screen. Please help Split UP close their funding gap by making a small donation here.
With winter break approaching, and plenty of bad weather, you’ll need something to do with your kids. Spending just an hour on Split could provide you with life-changing insight into your children’s experience. At the very least, it will foster a bond-building discussion and make clear to your child that you are committed to understanding, and supporting, their experience. If it moves you – and we know it will – do not forget to make a small donation toward funding Split Up: the teen years.
If you are interested, check out our interview with Christina here.