Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Children of Divorce with Andrew Root, PhD

Just like I’ve shared my favorite recipes with you for years, I love to bring you the best ideas for coping with daily life. However, I know this next sentence you may not take seriously. But just try, because it’s gourmet for dealing with something we’ve swept under the rug for decades! Adult children of divorced parents are likely to struggle with personal angst they’ve never felt permission to explore and resolve. There, I said it. As a junior high counselor in the 1970s, I watched divorce become easier and more accepted as I pulled alongside those children in their struggles. I’m still in some of their lives to this day. I saw them blindsided. I saw them get through it. And most of the time, they were told it would be a bump in the road, it wasn’t their fault and it was “better this way for everyone involved.” All of that can be true, but in this week’s show you’ll hear a thirtysomething man (whose parents divorced when he was a young adult) share his extensive research on the pain, potential healing and hope for grown-up “kids” like himself. He says he still has scars from his parents’ divorce, but that he’s whole and healed because of the Christian community to which he and his family belong. Find out what that means in this show. It’s not sitting around in a kids-of-divorced-parents support group. It’s more about being with people who are knitted together in the family of Christ and reach out to one another with mercy and grace as a normal part of living.

Dr. Andrew Root admits kids grow up and get on with their lives, some very successfully. But he says the pain experienced by children of divorce is what he calls “a loss of being.” You can get it back, his research indicates, through soul searching, support and the redemptive power of Christ and the church.
Dr. Root is assistant professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He wrote The Children of Divorce. He is very personable -- not bitter -- but concerned about these now grown-up kids. He warns against minimizing the impact of divorce on a child’s life, even the now-adult child. This quote from Dr. Root addresses part of the issue: “As painful as watching the last act of my parents’ marriage was, the problem with divorce, for children, is that its ending is never an ending.” He goes on to say that its secondary effect is to impact a child’s psychological stability.

I wish everyone could read this book and hear this Woman to Woman visit. I believe it to be vitally important to the putting back together of a part of our society that can respond to mending and healing. Dr. Root has done our culture a gigantic favor by writing this book. Please take advantage of it. You may be divorced. Your parents may be. Someone you know is. Pass this on to them. It’s better than any recipe I’ve ever shared! Trust me on this one!

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