Kids in the Middle Video

Click on the following thumbnails to see the various games parents can play.

Kids In The Middle: Introductory Sequence (Runs 00:2:09)

An introduction to the video, Kids In the Middle. From the kids' perspective - how kids feel, and how you can help your children, when parents break up, separate or get divorced.

Kids In The Middle: The Set-up (Runs 00:2:02)

The Set-up: Interfering with the time the other parent has to spend with the child.

Kids In The Middle: I Spy (Runs 00:1:22)

I Spy: Trying to get information about the other parent. Children do not like being used, being asked to break the trust of a parent, or bearing the anger of a parent who is upset with the information.

Kids In The Middle: Extravagant Parent (Runs 00:1:51)

Extravagant Parent: Buying expensive gifts or taking the kids on expensive outings. Often the parent who buys the gifts cannot afford them, but feels they are the only way to connect with the kids. Children may come to expect special gifts, treats, and privileges on an ongoing basis. They may not develop a realistic relationship with the parent or a realistic view of family life.

Kids In The Middle: Put downs (Runs 00:1:44)

Put downs: Putting down the other parent in front of the children. Parents may do this for two reasons. Either they feel that this is the only way they can win the child's affection or they are relieving built-up anger. Either way, this only hurts the child. Because children experience themselves as made up of both their parents, they feel an angry remark as an attack on part of themselves. A put-down directed at the other parent effects the child as well, causing pain and lowered self-esteem.

Kids In The Middle: Other Games (Runs 00:2:58)

The Nasty Game, The Messenger, "I wish", and Party Pooper are other types of "games" parents play, that put children in the middle of parents' battles. The children can be hurt by these "games" - which are often a result of feelings of anger and hurt about the ending of the relationship. It is important to deal with these emotions and to change to a new, "formal" way of communicating.