Sylvester: “I don’t know man; I think my ex-wife is using our daughter to get back at me.” Friend: “Trust me; I had to deal with the same issue when separated from my wife.” Sylvester: “So how did you go about it?” F: “You think we solved it? Hahaha… hell no” Sylvester: “What is that supposed to mean?” F: “Just let them do as they please and hope that Andrea will grow up someday to realize that you were just trying to do what is best for her.” Sylvester: “That’s ridiculous! I can’t just allow her to risk her future and hope she will be fine. What if something bad happens to her? Surely you understand that I have to protect my daughter!” F: “Look, I totally concur. I guess you could also try to raise your concerns with your ex-wife… Maybe she would be willing to put the girl’s best interest first?” Sylvester: “I highly doubt it. She’s hell-bent on getting back at me… and now that our daughter is on her side, she is basically enjoying every moment of it.” Analysis As can be seen from the above scenario, three family members are involved in a squabble. In this case, Sylvester and Georgia were once happily married, and have a daughter whom they co-parent separately. As can be seen from the conversation, such incidences are commonplace as a good number of marriages collapse and end in separation or divorce at some point (Harold, 2018). Most divorces end chaotically, and children are caught up in the conflict. As noted earlier, there are mental repercussions of trying to compel a child to hate one parent regardless of whether or not the couple is in speaking terms. The conversation above is also equivalent to expecting a child to get involved in adult issues that transcend her understanding and maturity. As is evident from the conversation between the child and her mother, Andrea now perceives herself as an adult who is capable of exerting her authority by deciding where she stays and tries to persuade her mother to let her live there forever. Child psychology experts believe this type of parental behavior sets a bad example to the kids about what marriage entails which may adversely impact their ability to sustain relationships in the future ( Harold, 2018). It is common for adults to attempt to exert vengeance on their partners by “winning the child over.” In this scenario,Andrea has been won over by her
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- Fall '13
- Parent, dysfunctional cross-generational coalition, Andrea Harris