Flying to Cape Town on yet another red eye - thinking (yet again) about life after divorce.
On the positive side, we have a great (new) Children’s Act with its main focus on the best interest of our offspring; built-in rights for any and every kind of parent, and Parenting Plans and Co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights (note that responsibilities are written before rights). We have mediators and facilitators to try and make things more efficient and affordable – we can now even go to a magistrate’s court in stead of only the high court – need I carry on?
And on the not so positive side, we are still stuck in many ways, with the old regime. The police it seems, have little or no idea what they are supposed to do, the verdict is still out if mediators should be from the psychology/social worker, or legal side. Family Advocates that I am personally not too sure about – should I carry on?
But above all, after divorce, we are often still stuck with two parents that cannot (or won't) see the bigger picture.
Many fathers still choose to ignore the fact that they will always be the other half of a child. We still have mothers that think our children do not need a father in their lives after a divorce. We are still telling our children how ‘bad’ the other parent is.
Then add to that, step parents, new homes, new brothers and sisters, new schools, new cities (to get away from dad) – and to top it all, what about the parents that are simply so small-minded that they will never realize what they are doing to their children?
I was at a funeral today of a 36 year old divorced dad. And I watched his two daughters trying to sing a song - for him - but crying too much. He was an absent dad for most of their lives. He never supported them financially. And yet, they cried - because they loved him.
The mother of an 11 year old girl who had to be told by a psychologist how much her daughter needs a mother – how lonely her daughter is - a mother that is working very hard to keep her (the daughter's) father out of her life – this mother that continuously tells her daughter what a bad man her father is – this little girl that could not stop crying when her father said bad (but true) things about her mother. ‘Don’t say things like that about my mother’.
The father who simply posted both his sons back to mom after getting married again. This after alienating both boys to the point that they did not want to see their mother anymore.
Is it not time for us as parents to move forward and to see what we are doing to our children - need I say more?