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The kids rewrite the Ten Commandments

The kids rewrite the Ten Commandments


I asked my three children when still young what their advice would be to parents who are splitting up.  This is a summary of what they said:



ONE: ‘Put me first – make me the incentive to break up right. Please don’t fight.

TWO: ‘Don’t think new partners buying presents and chocolate will make them take the place of my real mum/dad. Kids don’t worship false idols.’

THREE:  ‘You shall not take the name of each other in vain. Remember the day you said ‘I love you’ and know that love lasts forever, even if the relationship doesn’t. And if your love has gone, good manners will do.

FOUR: ‘Remember our day of rest, and which parent we spend it with, should include us in the decision making process.’

FIVE:  ‘Honor both father and mother – treat each other with at least the same level of respect you would give to a complete stranger.

SIX:  ‘Your old relationship may be dead, but don’t kill the new one – you need a working relationship with your co-parent whether you like it or not.

SEVEN:  ‘When you take a new partner, keep us kids informed through the process – don’t just say “here’s your new dad/mum, the last one’s in the bin”.

EIGHT:  ‘You shall not steal my childhood. Be honest with me – but that doesn’t mean you can dump all your emotional baggage on me either.

NINE:  ‘You shall not bear false witness or lie – but neither can you slag off our mother or father even ‘out of earshot’ – we kids hear everything.’

TEN:  ‘Appreciate what you have with us and don’t compare it to what others have – but now that I have two homes instead of one, that also means double the presents, shopping trips and holidays. OK?’

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  1. Thank you for your honesty about the feelings that the children of separation go through, you know it is not only young children who feel this, as a young adult I went through much of this with my parents divorce, I it so important that parents remember that we are doing it for the kids! Keep the priority right! And dignity for the love you have shared.

  2. holy crap. that’s really useful stuff to hear. thanks suzi!

  3. Thanks for this, Suzy. I wish more parents would pay attention to the wisdom of their children. I’d add just one more commandment:

    ELEVEN: Please trust that I love you and want you to be happy – even when I can’t show it; even when I’m angry; even when I’m rude. And I need to know that you love me too; that I’m not the cause of your unhappiness.

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