HBO Divorce Special - What Kids Have to Say
Divorce is a major life changing decision that affects two adults. Add children as one of the factors to consider and the situation can be a lot more complicated. This Thursday, September 20th HBO is airing Don't Divorce Me! Kids' Rules for Parents on Divorce. In this documentary, adults get an insider's view of a child's perspective during divorce.
Rosie O'Donnell, the executive producer, who had her own split from her partner in 2008, uses her experiences with four children as a platform for creating the film. One of the main insights seen during the viewing includes advice that the children give to parents. There was an intentional effort to portray the child's viewpoint since the child's point of view is often overlooked in uncontested divorces.
During the documentary, kids have an opportunity to demonstrate how much they really understand about divorce and how it affects them. The advice kids give ranges from not putting kids in the middle between fighting spouses to getting equal time between parents.
It's eye opening to see how much the kids really do know about what is going on in regard to a divorce, whether or not it's a simple divorce. For example, when parents have thought the kids didn't hear them say "I am taking the kids", the children really did hear. Hearing a door slam is often accurately interpreted as a parent leaving, even though they may not know what was actually said at the scene.
The HBO presentation is a rare opportunity for parents to learn how much kids really do know and what they are going through during the divorce process. Over twenty-four children are interviewed for the documentary, ranging in ages from five to ten. Some of the ways the kids convey their messages are through songs, photos, drawings and rules for parents they wrote out by hand, i.e., "Respect My Feelings".
There are messages which do show some of the positive effects on kids with divorced parents. Grace Goss brags about how she gets two Christmases and Easters. She states how her parents really put her first to make the divorce as comfortable for her as possible, including the restructured family still participating in some events as a group. On the flip side, there are kids who weren't as fortunate and struggled through the divorce.
A lot of hard work has gone into producing the film. The Grammy Award winning band, The Roots, have created original music for the documentary. Lili (eight years old) and Bella (10 years old) will be singing Take It From Me and It's OK to Cry.
If you have a chance to watch the film please share with us your thoughts below. We would love to hear your impressions!