Tuesday, January 21, 2003
posted by Jonathan Calder |
In 1986 a book was published to give advice to children whose parents were getting divorced. Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families by Laurence Krasny Brown and Marc Brown was illustrated with cartoons of dinosaur parents who fought, drank too much and broke up.
It offered children advice such as: "Try to be honest if they ask you questions; it will help them make better decisions", or "Living with one parent almost always means there will be less money. Be prepared to give up some things."
What the book was actually doing was asking children to be sympathetic, understanding, respectful and polite to their confused, unhappy parents; the sacrifice was going to have to come from the children. They were expected to be more mature.
In the world of divorcing dinosaurs, the children rather than the grown-ups were to be pillars of patience, restraint and good sense.
Melanie Phillips All Must Have Prizes (1996)