Empowering Kids to Share Their Experience with Divorce
Parents going through a separation often make one of two choices when it comes to communicating with their children: 1) They protect the children by sharing very little about the process, or 2) They involve their children in adult conversations, treating them as confidants. Neither scenario gives the children a voice—a way to share their experience.
Award-winning filmmaker Ellen Bruno is on a mission to change that through the documentary SPLIT, a collaboration with children ages six through twelve exploring the life-altering separation of their parents. The film presents the children’s perspective on divorce, empowering them to speak the truth of what is on their minds and in their hearts. SPLIT encourages parents to make better choices as they move through divorce and offers courage and validation to other children who see the film.
Today, Ellen joins Katherine to share how her own separation led her to create the documentary SPLIT. She explains the film’s power in giving voice to the experiences of children of divorce and providing parents with insight into what their kids are going through. Ellen speaks to the impact of parents’ choices, discussing the direct relationship between cooperation and the wellbeing of children. Listen in for Ellen’s insight around using the film to reimagine the way we divorce in our culture and to facilitate conversation among professionals, parents and children.
How the film SPLIT explores the effects of divorce on children
The validation of hearing other kids share their experiences
How SPLIT gives parents insight into what their kids are going through
The impact of the choices parents make during a separation
Ellen’s desire to reimagine how we divorce in our culture
- Community support
- Avoid blaming, polarization
The empowering nature of being given a voice
The themes that emerged through the children’s interviews
- Hard to watch fighting
- Fantasy that parents will reunite
- Fears around new partners
How the film facilitates conversation between parents and children
How professionals might use the film to initiate discussion with parents
The negative scenarios kids spin when they lack information
The direct relationship between parent cooperation and well-being of kids
How teenagers involved in conflict struggle to put their own needs first
Providing kids with a hopeful blueprint for healthy relationships
How SPLIT helps parents refocus and reach agreements