Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Controversial Topics Why are Children from divorced homes treated as second class citizens?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 114 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1586018

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    I am definitely not your typical letter writer, as I have never sent in a letter to any publication, but I wanted to hear others opinions on this matter. I am noticing a trend, of children from divorced homes who are in very run of the mill schools, and are treated unfairly without a chance. I’m not only talking from personal experience, but from others experience as well. I’m not talking about serious issues. I’m referring to small things that would not even be addressed if the child was from a “regular” home! Single parents in general work themselves to the bone, juggling everything and the last thing they need is a very judgmental non- understanding outlook from the school.

    #1586124

    Joseph
    Participant

    What are a handful of examples of how these children are treated differently?

    #1586125

    catch yourself
    Participant

    I certainly can empathize with your struggle. I know how hard it was for my mother to raise us, before, during and after the divorce. I can understand how overwhelming your situation can seem.

    Of course, no two cases are the same, and I do not presume to speak to your particular experience. I do feel a responsibility, however, both as the product of a divorced home, and as a Rebbe with many contacts in numerous schools, to protest the blanket allegation that “children from divorced homes are treated as second class citizens.” My experience has been the opposite. School administrations and Rebbeim/Teachers go out of their way to accommodate the specific needs of every student, especially those with challenging domestic environments.

    Unfortunately, it is often the case that the divorced parents’ enmity causes them to sabotage their children’s experience in school in many ways. Perhaps this is the real cause of your troubles.

    #1586127

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    L’mashal?

    #1586171

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Welcome to cookie cutter Judaism

    Move out of Brooklyn

    #1586237

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    I have to acknowledge that there were individual rebbeim who handled it well. And im hoping for a better year. But with that said, in the “very yeshivish” world divorce is still a stigma and treated as such.

    #1586256

    Joseph
    Participant

    Coffee Addict: However bad you perceive Brooklyn, outside of Brooklyn is much much worse.

    #1586278

    Joseph
    Participant

    Singlemomof4: A couple of people asked to provide some examples of how you perceive these children are being treated differently. You still haven’t answered that.

    #1586293

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Yes, the stigma is there. And it gets worse when the time comes for shidduchim. It is generally less out of town, but all depends on the attitudes of the local community and of the particular rebbe. Some rebbeim are sympathetic, others – who are probably less sensitive to children in general – can be difficult.

    Generally, the smaller the community, the more accepting people are. Best to get out of the New York-New Jersey area, far from the operations of the “cookie-cutter” that is driving so many of our kids off the derech.

    #1586292

    Amil Zola
    Participant

    I can only off you sympathy and good wishes. This seems to be something that happens more frequently where there are larger groups of Jews living in community. Are there any support groups for divorced Jewish women in your area?

    #1586284

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    “But with that said, in the “very yeshivish” world divorce is still a stigma and treated as such.”

    GOOD

    #1586285

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Still waiting for examples. Since I send my kids to only 1 yeshiva and one beis yackov in all of brooklyn, I cant speak for “all yeshivos”, but, I will say this. the OP would be very happy in the schools my kids attend.

    #1586286

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The school, in an attempt to be helpful, might be trying to act as a parent, but it can’t because it’s a school.

    #1586287

    mentsch1
    Participant

    For the most part my children, both my own and my step children, where not treated differently.
    Though one of my daughters wasn’t accepted to one high school, despite being an exceptional A student. (Behind the scenes feedback stated the reason was the divorce.) That was one school and she was accepted to a different (very good)l school.
    For the most part I have found principals to be understanding, and teachers willing to make an extra effort.

    #1586291

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Singlemom- I am very surprised to hear that. Are you sure that that is ths case or is it possibly just an inference you are feeling? With so many divorces these days it is not the stigma it used to be and most teachers dont think too deeply about it. Unless there are other compounding factors. Outside of NY the “broken home” isnt even as much of a shidduch deterrent as it ised to be so i cant imagine teachers hplding it against you.

    That isnt to say your children are not getting negativity of some kind, i don’t know, iwould just be surprised if it was about this.

    #1586282

    Health
    Participant

    Mom – So get married again – There are divorced men.

    #1586319

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    As a family law attorney who has handled divorce, custody, educational plans, etc. for more than 35 years, I agree with Singlemomof4.
    BTW>>>this does not apply just to the frum community and their schools.

    It is more work for a school to handle divorced parents than married ones. Communication must often be made with both parents using time and resources. Duplicative parent meetings, PPTs, etc. have to be scheduled. Kids that have divorced parents with shared custody often arrive in school without certain items and tell the teacher/administration: ‘I stayed at mommy’s last night and my science things are at Daddy’s”

    Staff resents the extra time they must expend on these students and double parent communication…for which they receive no extra money. Often times they must prepare reports for the family courts, Department of Social Services, etc.
    The frazzled single parent with custody may be overburdened and the kids come in unprepared, homework not done, etc.
    That same single parent generally has a lower income than married parents and may not be able to afford all the supplies, etc. The teachers will try to save the children from embarrassment by reaching into their own pockets to provide things…but under or late paid teachers cannot do much of this.

    The single parent is less likely to be able to volunteer time for school committees/PTSO/room mother, chaperone, etc.

    AND: the single parent is less likely to afford tuition/donations to private schools/yeshivos.
    Say what you may, the administration in most schools favor those children whose parents are able to write large checks and require no scholarship money.

    When my eldest grandson was in 4th grade, he came home from day school and asked me: Zaidy, how come I always am given brand new books at school and certain children are given old beat up books? This favoritism by economic status is reprehensible. I pushed for required school uniforms including shoes so that there would be no social pressure on how to dress. Mrs. CTL runs a backpack program at the local day school. She and her committee raise the funds and purchase and distribute backpacks to all elementary students that contain the same set of school supplies, no student should feel ashamed or second class. The parents of means tend to donate the full cost plus of the backpack to the committee and make sure their children don’t come in better equipped.

    We live in a cruel world of harsh economic reality. Teachers and administrators do see who is the child of divorce, who is a scholarship or free lunch student, what vehicle the child alights from at school and it does color the treatment the child may receive.

    #1586448

    mentsch1
    Participant

    health
    all i can say is , oy

    #1586673

    mentsch1
    Participant

    CT
    You are describing a scenario that exists all across the spectrum and is inherent to a capitalist system. We have had the conversation about concierge practices. Isn’t it “unfair” that those with means can afford to get treated so much better in the health care market place?
    I have seen a couple of instances where children of big donors got kid glove treatment when there should have been consequences. But I have put kids through multiple big name brooklyn yeshivos and I find , that for the most part, they practice the middos that they teach. I found that , for the most part, principals and teachers went the extra mile. Some of my kids who had issues at the time of divorce and acted out, got those same free passes bc the hanhala understood the circumstances and were willing to give them time.
    BH they settled down and it worked out.

    #1586989

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Teachers and administrators do see who is the child of divorce, who is a scholarship or free lunch student,”

    I dont know why this has to be the case. In my sons yeshiva, the academic office does not have access to the business office information and vice versa. the principal and teachers have no idea who is on a full scholarship, or who pays full tuition. I think the situation as you describe it, is a problem and it should be rectified.

    #1587104

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    @yitzchokm you’re just proving my point..so thank you!
    @health that’s definitely not the solution
    Lawyer- very well said, spoken like a true professional
    I know ppl asked for examples, and I can list them but that’s not the point… Then everyone will just argue over the examples.

    #1587063

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @apushatayid
    OOT is quite different than NYC, Monsey and Lakewood.
    Day Schools and Yeshivos are limited in number and serve Jews from multiple communities.
    Teachers know a lot about economic status by address. Does the student live in the wealthy suburb? Is the address an apartment building? Certain apartment complexes are known for being the home of divorced moms with kids.
    School bus transportation is not the norm here. Teachers and staff can see if Yankel is getting dropped off in this year’s Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover or a 10 year old Honda minivan. They don’t need access to the business office.
    The local Day School is run by Chabad for more than 70 years. The same family is in charge with 2nd and 3rd generation as principals and teachers. They have access to all the information about who pays what and at times have been less than careful with the information. The scholarship applications go to a committee which includes staff and volunteers. It was better many years ago when Jewish Family Services handles this and then gave the school a report saying how much a particular family could be expected to pay.

    I agree the system is problematic and should be changed, but it is hard to effect change, especially when you no longer have kids in the school. I could threaten to withhold my annual checks, but that would cause more harm than good.

    #1587029

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    yitzchokm, you are absolutely correct! It is better for the children to grow observing parents yelling,screaming and being physically abusive to each other. That is how they will to be effective parents and fine candidates for
    shidduchim.

    #1587159

    This whole premise is false

    for the sake of stabilized communities
    yes, we must treat those who walk out of marriages as less than those who stay
    and in the long term it will be better for everyone even the divorcees
    to have such stable communities

    [ check outside communities for reassurance]

    Be that as it may ,those who from the “correct”
    or affluent families can get divorced and easily be treated
    treated as first class

    While those from more typical families
    will remain second Class respectively
    even for those in a stable marriage

    #1587174

    Health
    Participant

    MOM -“that’s definitely not the solution”

    Why? Marriage is a Good thing. I never wanted to get divorced!
    It’s always good to have a Man around the House!

    #1587236

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    for the sake of stabilized communities
    yes, we must treat those who walk out of marriages as less than those who stay
    and in the long term it will be better for everyone even the divorcees
    to have such stable communities

    Sometimes there are very good reasons for a person to leave a marriage.

    In any event, when I was younger, I was told that there were homes that I was not welcome in and kids I could not befriend because my parents were divorced… as if somehow, at the age of ten or so, I was going to “infect” their children and cause them to have failed marriages.

    The Wolf

    #1587193

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    @health I said that is not the “solution” – as in solving the problem!
    Obviously that would be ideal and I hope one day to get remarried, but I can’t get married to solve that problem.
    Oh, and don’t get me started on dating the second time around, that’s definitely not a conversation for this forum!!

    #1587196

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    @anonymous jew, unfortunately what you’re saying is actually something that ppl believe! So you’ll have kids growing up in a miserable environment just to keep up their image..and trust me the school will have a whole lot more to deal with.

    #1587192

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Time for truth
    Just curious,
    If your daughter was married to a guy who beat her, you would tell her what? stay in the marriage?
    Or if your daughter in law was found out to be having a secret life, you would tell your son to just go to counseling?
    And if they took the obvious (and halchically correct solution) of asking for a divorce, you would tell your grandchildren to be honored to be the victim of bias because it’s for the greater good?

    Health
    It isn’t the solution bc
    a) it wasn’t an empathetic remark and
    b) those that have bias don’t change bc of circumstance. BH I have been remarried for many years and yet my step daughter (raised in a stable household) experienced this bias despite the fact that the divorce occurred in her infancy.

    #1587234

    Joseph
    Participant

    Singlemomof4: According to many posters here this issue is only one of your sensitive perception rather than a real issue. Which is why you’re having a lot of difficulty defining any particular exemples.

    #1587289

    Joseph
    Participant

    “In any event, when I was younger, I was told that there were homes that I was not welcome in and kids I could not befriend because my parents were divorced…”

    Wolf: Who told you that you weren’t welcome and/or that you could not befriend?

    #1587288

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Midwest2,

    Did you ever stop to think that the cookie cutter schools pushed 98% of the people to stay on the derech? Overall we’re a resounding success.

    #1587285

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Singlemomof4,
    Divorce should be stigmatized because it’s a terrible option.

    Most divorced families are not due to infidelity or physical abuse. As long as both spouses are marriageable material, they should remain married.

    Yes, of course there are cases where divorce is the only option. But it shouldn’t be celebrated. It’s a terrible, terrible outcome.

    It should be as stigmatized as abortion. Athough abortion is sometimes necessary to save the life of the Mother, IT SHOULD NOT BE CELEBRATED

    #1587307

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf: Who told you that you weren’t welcome and/or that you could not befriend?

    Classmates and acquaintances passed the word along from their parents. A rescinded invitation, etc.

    The Wolf

    #1587312

    Singlemomof4
    Participant

    @yitzchokm comparing divorce to abortion?! Please tell me you’re joking!?

    #1587343

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    @singlemomof4 I’m sorry for you pain. Unfortunately this is not the only thing that has stigma in the frum community. Abuse, mental illness, coming from a neglectful home, and so so much more are also that way. There’s many things that need to change.

    Remember though although the community or society can feel and seem messed up and unfair, Hashem runs the world. He will send your children fiends, you friends, shidduchim, etc.

    #1587352

    singleof4,
    every parallel
    needs to be
    absolute?

    If ch”v ” you would tell your grandchildren to be honored to be the victim of bias because it’s for the greater good?”
    My descendants are aware that we sacrifice
    massively in innumerable ways for the greater good
    That is what we yidden ought to do
    Few others ,to my astonishment,share similar attitudes

    #1587355

    menstch1, etc.
    irrelevant red herring

    Pachad Yitzchok
    on R’Yehoshua ben Gamla

    #1587357

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Beth Hilel says that divorce is permitted even if she burns his food.
    They say if someone is so petty that he wants to divorce for that, then it is better to divorce because there is no future for this marriage.

    #1587384

    catch yourself
    Participant

    Yet, everybody agrees that מזבח מוריד עליו דמעות.

    The issue that people who are apparently adults get divorced for petty reasons is due to the influence of our surroundings, and it is something that Rabbanim should and are trying to deal with.

    That said, it is shocking to me that someone would suggest treating children as second class as a divorce deterrent. Why not just take the kids out behind the shed and put them out of their misery?

    The issues raised by CTL are real, although the degree varies from place to place and from school to school (even from teacher to teacher). I can say that the vast majority of educators with whom I am acquainted endeavor to overcome the natural biases endemic to the human condition to the greatest extent possible. Most of us actually overcompensate, as we try to give each student according to their need.

    One concrete thing I can say is that the one Yasom and the few children of divorced or separated parents who have been in my class over the years were treated as the most equal among their peers by their *** Grade Rebbe.

    #1587392

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Yitzchom
    You don’t see a distinction between “celebrated” and mentchlikeit?
    no one is talking about throwing a party. But frankly middos is dictated by torah and a requirement.
    If a woman is required to get an abortion al pi halacha you should shun her? I don’t shun people for following halacha

    Time truth
    ever learned meseches gittin?
    there are no red herrings here, plus abuse and infidelity is a lot more common then those who aren’t in the know think it is. Getting divorced is often a matter of psak, despite you thinking it’s a lifestyle choice. I can easily think of a dozen cases I personally know where the rabbunim involved pushed for divorce because of halachic abuse (this includes emotional ), and infidelity (both male and female). If you include one spouse becoming openly or secretly not frum that number doubles.

    For those not involved in the scene, a Rav is AlWAYS involved before a get will be issued, therapy/counseling (sometimes years) is always required before a b’d will issue a get (at least by the batei dinim I am familiar with)

    #1587408

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Time
    You actually didn’t answer the question. Allow me to re-phrase
    I would like to be given a halchic source for people to act with a lack of mentchlikeit toward others that they perceive to “damaged” in some way.
    There are examples of shunning in torah. Cherem being the biggest example, but that requires a bais din
    The misilas yisharim tells you to pick good friends (hence staying away from bad friends) but you would be hard pressed to find any mussar sefer that tells you that you can act with less middos toward those people. In addition a perceived aveirah (divorce) that you might think the parents did (even though , odds are it was pushed by a Rav and thus not an aveirah) , how does that allow bad middos toward the child?

    #1587576

    apushatayid
    Participant

    @singlemom. i dont know you, i dont know your child(ren), the school they go to, the teachers or the administration. in the school my kids attend, every teacher/rebbe, every year has called in advance of the school year, or reached out at the beginning of the year orientation to ask about any “situations” he/she should be aware of as it pertains to our child. we dont wait for that call, we preempt it by calling first and describing anything that we feel the teacher should know. does the teacher know, for example, that you may not always be available to assist with homework and your child either needs extra time, or to be excused from some percentage of it? the teacher might know your child is from a divorced home, but chooses not to discuss it with you, because you didnt discuss it with her (if it isnt important, or an issue to you, why should the teacher make it into one – and be accused of stereotyping kids from divorced home in the process). im not saying you are wrong, they are right, or any permutation of these options, all im saying is, have you ever considered where the other side is coming from? more importantly, have you ever addressed your concerns with the other side of the coin?

    #1587585

    catch,wolfish ,etc.

    “ extremes are alone logical and they are always absurd”

    #1587586

    The little I know
    Participant

    yitzchokm:

    You seem to have amassed a rather substantial number of weird ideas and spewed them into the dialogue here in the CR. I wonder how you have the gall to continue this foolishness without shame.

    One: You wrote: “Did you ever stop to think that the cookie cutter schools pushed 98% of the people to stay on the derech? Overall we’re a resounding success.” That’s a lot of hooey, and you know it. There are not 98% on the derech. You would have a major struggle with explaining what “on the derech” means, as no one truly knows what the “derech” is. If you are referring to manner of attire, stop right there. I know many, many people who dress the part, black hat, yeshivishe or chassidishe levush, and are simply faking it for the world. Your 98% number shrinks by much. Are you aware that of all chuppahs in Brooklyn, the estimates from rabbonim who know inside stories claim that about 4% of them involve one or both – chosson and/or kallah who are no longer Sho,er Shabbos? Our yeshivos are a resounding failure in promoting the Ahavas Hashem and Ahavas Hatorah that is a requisite of chinuch. Our kids get through the system believing that they “have to learn”, not that they want to learn. Those that “want” are pleasing others’ demands on them, not their personal desires. The rules and chinuch patterns have little resemblance to what the Chachomim instructed, and the concept of חנוך לנער על פי דרכו is all but obsolete in the cookie cutter system. We do far better at producing chassidishe and yeshivishe robots than budding Ovdei Hashem.

    Two: You wrote: “Most divorced families are not due to infidelity or physical abuse. As long as both spouses are marriageable material, they should remain married.” Pardon, but your ignorance is showing. There are many other conditions and situations that render marriage nonviable. The Torah does not refer to either physical abuse or infidelity as basis for terminating a marriage. True, two spouses who want a marriage to work can often be helped to achieve that. But often, one is too enraged and hurt, and the work to reconcile requires two people. Your rush to generalize is not flattering to you, and you should first go get some experience in the field before spouting these statements.

    No one believes that divorce is a good thing. It is the way to go as as the lesser of the evils. I have met many lay people who are apt to push for ending a marriage. That is not the case for the overwhelming majority of rabbonim, batei din, therapists, or other professionals. Rather, these people are apt to seek reconciliation or entertain the desire for “shalom bayis” of one spouse when there is no justification to maintain a failed marriage.

    #1587606

    Little,
    “therapists, or other professionals.”
    There are more than enough who admit that their field ( and themselves on occasion)
    have been responsible for collectively causing exit option from marriage to have exploded

    a johnny come lately perhaps?

    The Torah does not refer to either physical abuse or infidelity as basis for terminating a marriage… Your rush to generalize is not flattering to you.”
    It is actually a dispute
    D’vorim 24:1

    #1587618

    Joseph
    Participant

    TLIK: You’re regard for Klal Yisroel’s heilige mosdos hachinuch and rabbonim is too low and your regard for therapists is too high. I, too, disagree with yitzchokm. I think his 98% on the derech rate is an underestimate. The on the derech rate in the Chareidi community is over 99%. Compared to certain other non-Chareidi Orthodox communities that have off the derech rates ranging between 25% and 50%, the Chareidi world is doing a remarkably successful job.

    And, for the record, Halacha most certainly does refer to specific examples of when divorce is required and specific examples of when one spouse’s a request for a divorce may be refused by the other spouse. In fact, there’s a large part of Shulchan Aruch devoted to covering these laws. For example, Shulchan Aruch says that a demand for a divorce on allegations of abuse can be denied by her spouse unless it is proven with eidus. And then then it can only be mandated if he was already formally warned and continued anyways. If you disagree with those laws you’re disagreeing with Halacha.

    #1587688

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    “And then then it can only be mandated if he was already formally warned and continued anyways”
    Ask any Rav involved in gittin how often they discussed abuse with men and gotten a justification for their behavior. Whether they feel their wife is bad for some issue real or imagined or they use halacha to justify their strong reactions.
    Abusers (angry people) feel their anger is necessary and justified despite being an obvious averah.
    Similar to those posting here who feel they can treat children of divorce badly for some sort of “greater good” .

    #1587710

    mentsch1
    Participant

    catch
    “Yet, everybody agrees that מזבח מוריד עליו דמעות.”

    Relatively recent case I know of. Woman married with several kids loses her husband to a shiksa from the office. I’m sure the mizbeach is shedding lots of tears and not just for the marriage. But who has the right to judge the spouse? what did she do wrong ? and the kids?
    Compounding one tragedy that the spouse and kids have to go through by creating more pain, that’s pretty evil. Kids lost a father that they will rarely now see (if ever) and rather then the kids being treated like yesomim with extra sensitivity people should treat them like pariahs ?!

    #1587715

    Joseph
    Participant

    mentsch1: I have no idea why you addressed your comment to me or how it relates to what I posted. I posted what the Halacha clearly states, as per Shulchan Aruch and everything else we pasken by since Chazal.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 114 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Trending