children of divorce
This new information will give marriage counsellors a lot to think about.
Whatever past pitfalls you've experienced on Mother's Day as a biological mom or stepmom, remember that you can change it just by how you choose to think about it. We create our own reality. We all matter in our child(ren)'s life.
We want to prepare and protect our child against something dangerous. Our protective role is clear. So the truly complicating factor that makes talking to your children about divorce so difficult is that the parents are the source of the pain.
This was not the way I'd envisioned raising my kids: as part of a broken family, with so many overwhelming feelings and an inherent sadness that I can't easily fix. And I certainly had not expected my kids to struggle with our divorce for as long as they have. I hadn't known they would suffer so deeply.
Twenty years after my divorce, I can remember -- vividly -- the books that saved me during those early days of finding my way alone. Each book gave me something- the language, hope, and understanding- to help me process the trauma. Millions of people experience the pain of divorce each year.
Becoming a co-parent is a life-changing experience. It's like jumping off a cliff and hoping for the best. At the beginning, it was challenging to refrain from criticizing the other parent in front of our child. I knew it was wrong because, as a child, I remembered my parents doing the same.
Most people, if they are unhappy in their marriage, are probably thinking about breaking up long before the holidays. But given that the holidays are a traditional family time, couples, especially those with children, loathe creating a sad memory for their children. Yet once the decorations are put away and everyone is back in their routine, many spouses are ready to start taking steps towards a separation.
With the recent Ashley Madison hack and the release of information for the affair-oriented dating site, it is no surprise that the internet is making wise-cracks about excited divorce lawyers rubbing their hands together in glee. But aside from being the final nail on the coffin, how would finding your spouse on the Ashley Madison list affect your divorce?
Allow your children time to grieve and remain open to ongoing conversations after the big announcement. If your children are asking you questions, this is positive. Encourage further conversations and be open to their questions, thoughts, and feelings. You may want to consider setting up a time for the children to talk with a therapist at some point.
Children may worry they are being disloyal if they start to have too much fun with one parent. They also worry about the parent that they are not with, wondering if that parent is okay. Sometimes they just deeply miss the parent they are not with. The familiar traditions may be gone and this can leave the children feeling as though something or someone is missing.