Many of my reference points in life come from television programs we all watched as kids. My favorite character, Burgermeister Meisterburger was the governing authority of the land who decided that children were not allowed to play with toys in Somber town. We all waited for the moment when the adults stopped listening to ridiculous rules and lived life in a way that made sense. When people tired of this rigid ruler, the Burgermeister was forgotten and his picture thrown in the garbage.
I was reminded of my favorite character when I heard a social worker proudly give a speach about the rules they imposed to govern the life of a mother and father after the divorce. Rigidness is what was needed he argued. Controlling the parties is what was needed. Minimizing the relationship to one parent had to the child a requirement……… Control, control ….litigation, conflict, winners and losers……blah blah blah…..
When divorce cases became hit historical levels decades and decades ago there was an reaction to try and create structured relationships between the parties. The approaches were rigid and created an environment that did not create a way that allowed children to thrive and cope with life after divorce.
The rigidness that led to a conflict style of parenting, in today’s world, seems to make less and less sense to one and all. Embracing a cooperative style of parenting means saying goodbye to a rigid system that creates misery for one and all. Parent’s understand that if they effectively communicate, cooperate and be flexible, their kids benefit. Society in general wants to see parent’s be flexible and put their kids interest first.
Whether the family law version of burger meisterburger truly stays or leaves really depends on the choices made by each divorcing parent. The best advice we can give to parent’s is if the end result of a rule makes your child’s life miserable consider a different option!