What Children Want Most Is a Ban on Divorce

December 19, 2008

By Glenn and Gwen Tilton
ABIDE in LOVE, Healthy Marriage for United Methodists 

Many of us have been thinking about holiday gifts for children. What do they really want? According to an article by Alastair Jamieson, in the UK Telegraph, December 14, "Marital splits were also named the second-worst thing in the world in the survey of under-10s, behind being fat."  
 
Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world:
 
·         Most children replied they would ban divorce: the first time it has come at the top of the list.
·         More than 80 percent of the children questioned thought they would probably marry when they grow up, although 17 percent gave a definite "no" on the subject.
 
Divorce is damaging to children
Research consistently shows that divorce is often damaging to children. Children of divorce demonstrate more behavioral problems in school, are more likely to be a victim of physical or sexual abuse, are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, and are more likely to commit delinquent and other behaviors showing their distress.  
 
Give them the gift of skills
Perhaps the best gift any mother or father can give their children is to take a Marriage Education skills class. Life and the holidays bring forth stresses that are difficult to manage. Skills can help us manage those stresses and make it more possible to enjoy the joys of the season. These skills are now available through healthy relationship classes on our websites, www.umcmarriage.com and www.camarriages.com.
 
FREE marriage education materials available
Through a grant from the California Healthy Marriage Coalition, ABIDE IN LOVE has provided free materials to more than 10 United Methodist churches in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. Just this fall, Patterson, Walnut Creek, Los Altos and Watsonville UMCs have offered the popular 10 Great Dates class, by Dave and Claudia Arp. We recommend that a church begin with a teach-out-of-the-box, DVD-driven course that is easy to lead and work with.
 
To get started contact us—Glenn and Gwen Tilton—at gtilton2@comcast.net, or Colin and Kathy Kerr-Carpenter at kerrcarpenter@comcast.net and revkmom@comcast.net.