What Do You Think?: Divorce and Family Issues
Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 1:45PM
Lynda Rae in divorce, parents, siblings

What do you think about this scenario?

Dean is right in the middle of high school in his sophomore year. His parents always used to argue, but he thought that was normal for every family. Then during the summer, his dad started not coming home until really late at night, or on the weekends. This summer, he overheard his parents talking about divorce, and this year of high school just hasn't felt right. Dean doesn't know who to talk to, his older brother is working all the time up north, his younger sister is too young, and he is worried he will upset her more. She cried one night their parents were fighting, and now Dean feels like he has to protect her.

Many of his friends at school don't have a dad around, and have always considered him lucky, so Dean is embarrassed to complain or whine about his family drama. He has decided to simply keep quiet about the divorce and just try and keep his sister happy. Unfortunately his mom has been so busy trying to keep everything at home organized that she sometimes forgets to buy enough food and keep the house clean. It has been a struggle for Dean to be a parent to his sister and take care of his schoolwork, her schoolwork, and the house. Dean feels like he is spinning out of control, forgetting homework assignments and often missing class, and so emotional he just doesn’t know how to handle all the changes. He just wants to make things work at home, and be the man of the house since his dad is not around as much. He is unsure of talking to anyone about it, but doesn’t know if he can keep it together on his own.

Questions for Discussion:

1. What do you think about Dean's decision to focus on his family and take on adult responsibilities without talking to anyone? What would you do in his situation?

2. How do you think Dean feels about the divorce of his parents? Would talking to someone about this situation help him? If so, how?

3. Do you think Dean should ask for extra help in school or work something out with his teachers considering his difficult situation? Do you think that his teachers will understand and give him some leniency?

4. Have you ever opened up to a teacher, or adult, at school about personal problems that affect your work? What happened, and did it help you?

5. Have you, a family member, or close friend been through divorce/family problems? How has that affected you?

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Article originally appeared on Fighting Back Mentor Program Resource Center (http://mentor-center.org/).
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