Today I had the experience of spending some time in the waiting area at the Newport News Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court. It did show some examples of humanity at its worst.
First of all, a court is no place for children. Yet the waiting area was filled with kids. They were there to see their parents fight over them. Both in and out of the courtroom.
There also were the grandparents who were in charge of taking care of their grandchildren, as well as their own children- some of whom were in their 40's. No person in their 60's or 70's should have to be responsible for two generations of their family.
Worst of all were the parents who were trying to entice their children to sit with one or the other of them-to pick sides. After the sides were picked they would then look over at those on the other side conspiratorially and whisper.
Children should never be put in the middle or be made to feel like they have to pick sides. Sometimes it does not even take words to make them feel that they are being disloyal to a parent by enjoying a visit with the other parent or having a phone conversation. This is wrong! It is a parent's duty to behave appropriately and to encourage contact with and love for the other parent-even if it hurts to do it.