Do you worry that your relationship conflict is harming your children? Separation and divorce are tough enough on grown-ups, and they can be even tougher on kids. Parents may expect their children to be their allies, messengers, or spies. That’s a lot of pressure for a kid! And it doesn’t have to be this way. In Caught in the Middle: A Letter to My Parents, Dr. Benjamin Garber shares Emma’s story of how parental conflict feels to a child. You’ll learn practical strategies for cooperating, communicating, and putting your kids’ needs first, so they can have the childhood they deserve.
Emma, a fictitious 18-year-old high school graduate who grew up in the middle of her parents’ selfish divorce and co-parenting war. Emma is an amalgam of the thousands of children that have found themselves caught in the middle of their parents’ conflicts. The rage and narcissistic injuries that these parents live with day-to-day blinds them to their children’s needs. As a result, children like Emma are prematurely thrust into the adult world. They are forced to become their parents’ allies and confederates, messengers and spies. They give up their childhoods in order to serve their parents’ selfish needs. They become chameleons, changing who they are in order to fit into the adult world, or ostriches, burying their heads in the sands of denial.
Emma’s done a very selfless thing by sharing this journal with you. The thoughts and feelings that she shares here are very private. Even embarrassing. But Emma and I have decided to put this book in your hands in the singular hope that maybe you will make different choices than her parents did. Maybe by sharing her journal, Emma can help you learn to raise healthier children.
Caught in the Middle is Book 2 in the Healthy Parenting series. Book 1 in the series is The Healthy Parent's ABCs: Healthy Parenting Made Clear and Easy-to-Readand Book 3 is Taming the Beast: Managing Anger in Ourselves and in Our Children Through Divorce
Chapter 1Divorce doesn't harm children. Parents do.
Chapter 2But They're too Young to Understand!
Chapter 3Kids Blame Themselves for Their Parents' Behavior
Chapter 4Put the Child's Needs First
Chapter 5Structure Reduces Anxiety
Chapter 6Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Other Childhood Psychiatric Illnesses
Chapter 7: Therapy & Medication? If You Can't Drain the Pool, Get a Life Preserver!
Chapter 8"We" Messages
Chapter 9Emotions Aren't Logical
Chapter 10Whose Needs Are Being Served
Chapter 11But I Only See Her Ten Hours a Week
Chapter 12Making "Change Day" Easier on Everyone
Chapter 13Denial, Minimization, and Escape
Chapter 14Is Anger the Opposite of Love?
Chapter 15Parent-Parent Communications
Chapter 16Keeping Kids Out of the Middle
Chapter 17Fantasies of the Intact Family Persist
Chapter 18The Best Interest of the Child? Beware of the Legal System!
Chapter 20Childhood Does Not End at 18 Years Old