What we have come to: doll houses for divorce?

Oh yeah. This isn’t a joke from The Onion.

Kathy Schiffer has the scoop:

Industrial designer Ben Forman (benformandesign.co.uk) has introduced a new dollhouse to help today’s modern preschooler prepare for the inevitable unhappy changes in her family structure.  It’s called Detacho.

Detacho families, like so many contemporary American families, can reconfigure themselves, either expanding with the birth of new siblings, or separating into smaller groups of married or divorced or cohabiting adults and their complacent children.  And Detacho dollhouses meet the need—transforming from a single-family home with its smiling parents into two or even three smaller units, able to house new stepparents and step siblings, or two mommies, or to adapt to whatever the parents’ new living situation might be.

Detacho mommies and daddies are sometimes happy, and then they are all kissy-face, attracted to one another.  But sometimes the stress caused by daddy’s extramarital affair makes mommy so angry she’d like to starch his shorts.  Then, with a quick twist of the hairdo, smiling Detacho mommy turns into frowning, unhappy Detacho mommy.  And thanks to the magnets implanted inside their skulls, smiling Detacho mommy and daddy can kiss, but frowning, angry Detacho parents repel one another.  The best that frowning Detacho parents can muster, if forced to be nice in a social situation, is a hasty air kiss, cheek to cheek.

Ben Forman thinks it’s good to prepare children for the harsh reality of divorce.  With Detacho, children can project their feelings onto the play scene.  They can practice feeling lonely and scared, and waving goodbye to daddy and his new girlfriend.  They can play at getting along with a bossy new big brother who has just moved in.  They can hide from mommy’s new boyfriend, who’s always checking the fridge for another beer.

Read more. And you can visit Ben Forman’s website for additional info.

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14 responses to “What we have come to: doll houses for divorce?”

  1. Good grief: one more ‘symptom’ of the inability of the secular world to detach from the gimmie at any costs of self.

    Is there anybody left out there who might have a clue that lifestyles outside of a male/female marriage have consequences?

    I’d like to recommend “Detacho from self.”

  2. Klaire,

    I think it was made very clear in the above article that this dollhouse helps prepare children for divorce. More specifically, when mommy and daddy ( female/ male) separate and begin new lives. Is there anyone out there that might have a clue that hetrosexuals who marry for the wrong reasons, and think of their own selfish needs before the needs of their children has consequences? Not everything in life is because of some “gay agenda”.

  3. Well Kimberly, short of abuse in the home, is there anyone out there who feels for the sake of the kids, that parents who make kids together need to stay together? Nay, that would be too selfless.

    Anyone who doesn’t recognize divorce as child abuse has never been a product of it or around kids of a divorce. Granted there are certain situations when it’s necessasry to physically separate for safety, but most of the time, parents divorce out of boredom, consequently, infidelity, a totally selfish act.

  4. Whatever happened to the quaint notion that toys were supposed to be fun? They could make this a part of a series of toys, the Grim Reality Collection. There could be a Danger Acres Apartment Building, where they had to move after Dad or Mom lost their job; or the Vale of Tears Funeral Home, where they had Grandma’s wake.
    Think I’ll go out and buy my granddaughter a pink Barbie House.

  5. Hmm. I can’t understand why preschoolers are having trouble understanding/dealing with divorce. All this time, I’ve heard so many people on TV tell us how it’s fine for the kids. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis love talking about how they divorced but are such good friends. The same goes for Lisa Marie Presley. If divorce was something ok for children, we wouldn’t need a toy like this.

  6. Staying together “for the children” is the real child abuse. I have worked with so many teenagers who have no concept of what a loving home looks like because all they have been exposed to is constant fighting at home: destructive words, harsh actions and using the kids as weapons.

    Toxic parents are not a myth, Klaire – they are a reality and there are LOTS of times when separating is the salvation of the family. Add to that the fact that these kids know that they are the reason this two miserable people are stuck with each other and you have a recipe for self-condemnation, depression and anger.

    We need to do a better job of making sure that people who marry are ready for the hard times and encouraging couples going through “a rough patch” to stick it out – divorce should not be as easy as going through a drive-through – but we also need to recognize that it is sometimes the best thing for the children as well as for the adults.

  7. Katie #7: I know a great many divorced people. I know a great many who say that their divorce was best for their kids. I do not know of one case where the kids were actually better off for the experience. After the split, in all likelihood, the kids will still spend a substantial portion of their youth with the very same individual(s) whose modus operandi is constant fighting, harsh words and destructive actions. Only now, they themselves will become weapons in the arsenel of even more adults, “boyfriends” and “girlfriends,” without one (and sometimes both) of their biological parents nearby to protect them.

    In truth, the “good divorce” is a just lie that people tell themselves because they have priorities much higher on their list than the welfare of the children with whom God entrusted them.

  8. Well said Ron.

    I have a brother who divorced with 6 kids subsequently remarried his original wife 10 years later. They fought all the time, but the divorce almost killed the kids.

    When they got back together 10 years later, the kids thrived. They both know what they did to their kids, and learned some hard lessons. Their wake up call was when their son was arrested for drugs and almost sent to jail.

    Any disagreements they have now they do in private, both knowing that the kids come first. The son who was on drugs is now a devout Catholic. I personally watched a family go from almost destruction back to harmony.

    Short of real violence, kid wants their parents sleeping under the same roof, period. It’s hard enough being a kid, and totally unfair that any kid would have to compete between parents.

  9. That’s a very nice story Klaire but just because that was the outcome for your brother does not mean that it is a black and white situation. I am not a child of divorce my parents have been together 45 years. I know many people who are from broken homes however and they are functioning members of society without drug problems or rap sheets. I think families should stay together. That is what I agreed to when I made a vow in God’s house. I just can’t condemn everyone whose marriage doesn’t work. There are times it is best to leave and other times it is best to stay and work things out. Unless we are in the situation, who are we to judge? Judge not lest ye be judged. Right?

  10. Kimberly, I’m sorry, but this “who are we to judge” business is a major cop-out. When you read or hear about cases of child abuse, you certainly judge that the abuse is a very bad thing, don’t you? Of course, that is not the same thing as judging or condemning the abuser. That person might be mentally ill or otherwise not wholly responsible for his or her actions. Nonetheless, the abuse is still very, very bad for the child. It ought to be condemned by all right-thinking people.

    Divorce is also very, very bad for children. It is a horrific form of psychological abuse, and all too often it leads to physical abuse as well. To pretend otherwise out of compassion for adults in troubled marriages is to do children a grave disservice. Sadly, that is exactly what too many Christians in recent years have done, and they have used “who are we to judge” as a cover for doing it.

  11. Kimberly ditto Ron. We are called to “judge actions”, but certainly not hearts. In fact, it’s a corperal work of mercy to admonish a sinner.

    I made it clear that there are extenuating circumstances, but also just as clear that most divorces are out of selfishness. If we “make kids”, we have a personal responsibility to be there for them, as parents, short of dire circumstances.

    Divorce is clearly child abuse, that’s reality.

  12. I think one reason so many Christians are unwilling to confront the evil of divorce is that it is seldom a “no fault” process. Typically one party–most often, the husband–decides to move on, and the other party–most often, the wife–is left with responsibility for the household and the care of the children. To criticize the divorce that inevitably follows seems like a case of blaming the victim.

    In such cases, the Church, as the Compendium puts it, “shows a maternal spirit to her children, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate spouse.” Hopefully that is how the aggrieved partner will be treated if the case reaches the Tribunal. But even an annulment cannot prevent the damage that a family breakup causes children, and no court or tribunal can set it right.

  13. I am the product of a childhood where parents fought and an adolescence where they divorced. I’m 33 now and would not have it any other way. Parents have to set an example, setting one where they are not happy and that the children suffer through is not right and does not represent a loving family environment. A lot of these posts seem to miss the point, whether you agree with divorce or not, it happens and this product is there to help and support a child through that.

    I work in the miniatures industry and can tell you from first hand experience that dolls’ houses are a great hobby. They also have many therapautic advantages and have been used in adult care homes and child therapy to help people work through issues at home or just to turn off from the stresses of the real world for a couple of hours a week. Children learn through play. There is nothing wrong with making the most of that innate trait to help them cope with something that is traumatic, be that divorce or other situations.

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