What Boyhood Gets Right about Divorce

The holidays are long and gone, and hopefully many are still sticking to their New Year’s resolution. For others, now is the time that they are thinking/planning a divorce. For many couples, their marriage has been deteriorating for some time, but many choose to get through one last holidays for their kids or family, to avoid the awkwardness  around their extended family members, for tax implications, or due to other financial reasons at the end of the year. Depending on your source, many claim that January is when most divorces are filed, but it’s safe to assume from January to March there is a surge in divorce cases.



For those who are not familiar with the movie, Boyhood– the film follows the life of a boy over 12 years, which was also subsequently filmed over 12 years. Other than watching the characters ager over a decade, it is also a movie about divorce and single parenting. Here are some family dynamics that are common in divorce:


  • In a majority of divorce cases where children are involved, custody will be granted to the mom, or it will be agreed upon that child(ren) will live with mom.


  • When the mother is the full time parent, she is often seen as the “bad guy” by the child (ren) for whom “initiated” the actual divorce/separation, even vilified as the one that “gave up” on their father. Subsequently, she will be the brunt of all emotions and feeling related to any difficulties during transitions.


  • When the mother is the full time parent, she is the one that establishes the routines, norms, and expectations related to behaviors, chores, school, free time, etc. Regardless of visitation schedules, whether it’s an evening, weekends, every other major holiday, the father is often the “fun parent.”


  • Sometimes a parent will date, sometimes they may get married, sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. Regardless of what one chooses to do, it can be confusing to a child.


  • Regardless of how many years have gone by since a divorce, throughout the various seasons of life, children mature, gain insights, and form new questions and feelings related to their parent’s divorce.


  • Single parenting is never easy, and generally speaking parenting is often a thankless role.


No one gets married with the intentions of getting divorced, but it happens, and very often children are not understanding of the complexities of shared custody, co-parenting, visitation schedules, and in the end why everyone is not living under the same roof.





Photo credit: IMDB  


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