06/30/2014 05:17 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2014

A Letter From a Child of Divorce

Following is an excerpt from If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I realize something is happening, but I don't really know what it is. Life is different, I'm scared to death and unsure of my future. Here's what I need from you, my parents:

  • I need both of you to stay involved in my life. When I'm not with you, please write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don't stay involved and I don't hear from you, I feel like I'm not important and that you don't really love me.
  • I need to see you. Make time for me, no matter how far apart we are, or how busy or poor you are.

  • I miss you when we're not together. When you're out of sight, I think you've forgotten me and don't love me.
  • I need you to please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Figure out how to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong, and I feel guilty.
  • I need to feel like it is okay to love you both. I need to feel like it is okay to enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
  • I need you to find a way to positively and directly communicate directly with each other about me, and everything I need or want. Please don't put me in the middle or make me the messenger.
  • I need you to say only nice things about each other, because I am half of both of you and I love both of you equally. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you don't like them, and therefore, you don't like me. I also feel like you are putting me in the middle and asking me to choose one of you over the other.

I need both of my parents. Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mom and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems.

Thank you.

Love, Your Child

Honorée Corder is the author of If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules and The Successful Single Mom book series.