White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

On Kids: Divorced Parents and Remarriage

Peace be with you and yours.

Out of pastoral concern and appreciation for dilemma of the child of divorce and the care and concern of parents we offer the following information.

Our son, who is divorced and has three children, plans to marry next year, one year after his divorce. He and his future wife have a good relationship with his children (ages 5, 7, and 9) and almost everyone things the kids should attend the wedding ceremony and reception.
Our son, however, is concerned that actually seeing ther wedding should have an adverse affect on the children. He thinks it would make them feel bad for their mother. What do you think?

The children already feel bad for their mother. You can't protect them from that.
Children of divorce universally worry about three things:
  1. Did I cause the breakup by my bad behavior?
  2. Will each of my parents leave me like they left each other?
  3. If I'm good, can I reconstitute my family I've lost?
Facing these issues openly with the children to bring to their feelings of guilt to the surface would help them the most.

If your son and their mother can discuss these issues with them, the wedding could become a kind of closure for the children.

Whether the children go to the wedding is not the real issue. Their adjustment to their new lifestyle is what is important.
(From: San Francisco Chronicle, "Families Today," Dr. T. Berry Brazelton)


We most highly recommend Touchpoints: The Essential Reference —Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development. T. Berry Brazelton, MD. Reading: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1992. ISBN 0-201-626990-X.

The divorced parent by remarriage is re-establishing a family unit. We recommend that parent and step-parent include their children actively and visibly in the marriage ceremony. We recommend that the couple request a Family Blessing which usually takes place after the Nuptial Blessing. The officiant requests the child/children to come forward and stand between their parent and step-parent. The parents hold a medal or family medallion which the officiant blesses. The parent hands the medal to the step-parent who in turn places the medal around the neck of the child. The officiant then blesses the family (while the photographer is taking photographs, which the parents then will have framed and gave to each child as his or her visual reminder that each is, from the begnning, an integral member of this new unit).

Peace and Joy to you and yours!

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

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White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
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