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When a divorce happens children need their grandparents more than ever
By Margo MacPhail
Monday, September 25, 2006

About 60 percent of divorces involve children. Today, only a little more than six out of every ten children still live with both their biological parents. The nuclear family, consisting of mom and dad and the average of 2.4 children living under one roof, is rapidly becoming an American myth.
    The divorce of one’s parents, and the restructuring of the family that follows, is one of the most painful experiences for children.
    Children view their family as the center of their lives. The breakdown of that family unit is proven to be a traumatic event in the life of a child, however parents and grandparents do have the ability to diminish the distress a child suffers and can significantly help prevent long-lasting emotional wounds.
    What can you do to help your grandchildren get through these difficult events?

    Maintain stability, continuity, and establish the opportunity for your grandchildren to not only continue but strengthen their family relationships during this especially necessary time. Grandchildren are the next generation of a long line of family, and time spent together with grandparents are moments in time which unlock keys to the past of the family legacy.

    During divorce, stability and family are even more crucial for children and these special relationships should be nourished and encouraged. One day, children will be grown adults. Knowing they are part of a long line of family history, personal experiences and a childhood filled with family relationships to share with their own children one day, will not only help them in their life’s journey in discovering who they are but moreover provides a family connection during a time when their family is disconnecting.
    Serve as a positive distraction. Grandparents become a family’s first reserve in time of crisis. Grandparents act as fun playmates for children, role models, family historians, mentors, help establish self-esteem and security for children. Moreover, the importance of protecting a child’s best interest during divorce, separation, or a single parent home, and the importance of maintaining relationships with grandparents are so profound, and so valuable, that there are laws to protect this sacred relationship. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 199, Section 39D provides for grandparents to have visitation rights with their grandchildren if the parents are divorced, married but living apart, under a temporary order or judgment of separate support.
    Help to maintain your grandchildren’s individual interests. It will help them have constructive outlets to relieve stress and build self-confidence, (after school sports, drama clubs, school newspaper, etc.).
    Encourage parents to prioritize a generous, regular visitation schedule with the non-custodial parent and also incorporate regular and frequent time for the children to visit with both sides of their extended family. Spending time and deepening relationships with both sides of their family is a most effective way to limit the trauma of family breakdown for children, and also gives parents a break as well.
    Nourishing relationships with grandparents are how your grandchildren learn that family does not end with divorce, and that they are an important link in a long family chain that stretches across generations. Children never divorce their family relationships, and grandparents do not divorce grandchildren. The deeper their roots, the stronger and taller they grow.  
    A child of divorce, today Margo MacPhail is a professional children’s advocate specializing in this field, and the Founder & Executive Director of KIDS FIRST. Located on the South Shore in Abington, KIDS FIRST is a non-profit organization dedicated to help kids and parents through the breakdown of their family unit and the redefinition of their family for a healthy and successful future. www.kidsfirstonline.org.

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Margo MacPhail is the Founder & Executive Director of KIDS FIRST.
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Prominent Leaders Criticize Family Law
Monday, March 28 a second ACFC newspaper advertisement ran in the Washington Times National Weekly Edition. The ad will be repeated next Monday, April 4.
This ad is endorsed by some of the most eminent and respected leaders in America. In addition to the national officers of ACFC, the following names appear on the ad:

- Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum

- Paul Weyrich, Chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation

- William J. Murray, President, Religious Freedom Coalition

- Dr. Don Wildmon, President, American Family Association

- Concerned Women for America

- Michael J. McManus, President, Marriage Savers

- Dr. Allan Carlson, author, "Fractured Generations"

- William Greene, President, RightMarch

- Pacific Justice Institute

- Urban League of Northern Virginia

- Heather Higgins, Chairman, The Independent Women's Forum

- Dr. Mark I. Klein, MD, board certified psychiatrist

- Bryce Christensen, Associate Professor, Southern Utah University

- David M. Wagner, Associate Professor, Regent University School of Law

- John Eisendrath, Executive Producer, ABC's "Alias"

- Dr. Warren Farrell, author, "Father and Child Reunion"

- Glenn Sacks, columnist and nationally-syndicated radio talk show host

- David Buchanan, author, "Gendercide and Human Rights"

These names cannot be ignored. These are eminent leaders who speak to the President and members of Congress on a regular basis. They head organizations with hundreds of thousands of members and followers
These leaders are sticking their necks out for us. They sympathize with our plight, support our efforts, and are willing to back us further. It is now up to us to act. These people cannot fight our battle for us. We are now on the national stage, and what we do will be seen by the world.
This ad presents an inescapable choice to elected officials:
Either our charges are without merit, in which case why are they being endorsed by leaders of this stature? Or our charges are true, in which case a major national scandal is being ignored by our elected officials. Either way, it demands attention, and that is all we are demanding: An investigation into allegations of government wrongdoing alleged by millions of American citizens and a full report to the American people.
  Copy this ad and circulate it to your elected officials and to the media.
  Solicit local endorsements, and run the ad in your own local newspapers.
  Some of the organizations listed above have local affiliates. Contact them and offer to create a coalition for mutual support.
  Go to www.acfc.org and make a contribution in support of these efforts.
  Forward this email to ten other people who have been affected by the family law system and ask them to consider supporting the effort also.
We have major support among national leaders in Washington. We have only to act and act responsibly, and the door will swing open to us.
These endorsements demonstrate that we have now accumulated perhaps the most valuable commodity in politics: trust. These leaders trust that we are telling the truth about these abuses. They know our allegations have not been refuted and cannot be refuted. It has taken years to acquire this trust, and it cannot easily be built up again
We must now invest this "political capital" or it is wasted.
Stephen Baskerville, President
Michael McCormick, Executive Director
David Roberts, Chairman of the Board
Children Need BOTH Parents!
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS
or see ACFC's homepages at: http://www.acfc.org
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The ACFC List Serve provides timely information to fathers, second wives, and others seeking restoration of fatherhood in America and the world.  ACFC does not endorse or approve the views or opinions expressed by contributors, which have been provided only as a service to our list serve subscribers.