Changeville is an internet based game released in 2008 by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia, Canada. Changeville is an interactive, virtual world designed “to give children tools and information that will help diminish the fears and anxiety they may feel.” Some of the information contained within the game is targeted directly to residents of Canada (like contact information if kids need to talk to someone), but most of it applies to children from any country.
How it Works
We you enter the world of Changeville, you will be prompted to enter your name. You can also enter a password if you want to keep your information private. From there you customize your avatar (the character who represents you in the game) to look however you would like them to look. A map of Changeville appears, and you are prompted to pick an area of town. Your choices include:
Sometimes when parents talk to kids about things like divorce, they forget that you might not know what a divorce even is. Or, you might think you know what divorce is all about, but not really understand what it means when your parents get divorced. That’s ok, but it is helpful to know what a divorce really is when you hear the word used – especially if you are right in the middle of your parents’ divorce.
The word “divorce” is a legal term (something used by lawyers and judges) for when one or both people who are married choose to no longer be married to one another and end up no longer living together. They sign some legal papers that say that they are single again and free to marry someone else if they choose to do that. Although your day-to-day living arrangements might change, divorce does not in any way change either of your parents’ relationships with you. Even though your parents are no longer wife and husband, they are still your mom and dad.
Because divorce is a legal proceeding, the people involved (your mom and dad) usually have lawyers or attorneys to explain the laws to them and speak for them in court. If your parents are getting divorced, you may have to speak to the lawyer for one or both of your parents. In some cases (especially where parents are having a really hard time getting along), a special lawyer or person is appointed for the child to represent their interests during the divorce. This person is appointed by the court and are often called a Guardian Ad Litem. In some places, they are called Court Appointed Special Advocates.
The purpose of the divorce proceeding (including all the meetings and court appearances) is to determine how to split up the assets (all the stuff your parents own) and the custody of any children (how much time you will spend with each parent and when).
Some divorces end up in a court room before a judge who will make decisions about how your parents’ divorce will work including issues related to where you will stay. If your parents can work out the details of their separation together with their attorneys before going to court, that is called a settlement.
Resisting change is a natural part of being human. For teenagers that resistance is compounded by a tendency to test boundaries and rock the status quo. Divorce or separation naturally makes all children feel powerless over their circumstances. For teens, who are feeling their oats and less likely to listen to parental authority, this is especially hard to accept.
Thus writes Rosalind Sedaca in this important article about why divorce is hard on teenagers.
This may seem like a silly question to you. If it does, that’s great, but there are lots of kids who wonder weather or not they caused their parents’ divorce. Do you ever wondered if you did something to cause your parents’ divorce? Do you ever wonder if your parents would still be together if you had behaved better or kept your room cleaner or been nicer to your little sister? There is a simple answer to those questions, and the question: