My parent's divorce helped me realize that love cannot be forced, and that you can never settle if what you want is happiness. Love is not easy, but it should always be unconditional and truthful, respectful and gentle. It didn't matter what people thought of us. What mattered was being at peace with who we were.
Whenever I coach the parent of a child with behavioral problems, I ask them to take a few steps back and and look at the misbehavior as a message announcing that something in the child's life isn't working.
Lately there has been a lot of debate about whether a "good divorce" is better than a "bad marriage," for the sake of the kids. I think we're forgetting about the third option: if you are in a bad marriage, and you have kids, how about doing whatever you need to do to make the marriage better? For the kids' sake.
The confident girl who walked away from us without blinking an eye is maybe coming back to us, her loving and worried parents.
My parents had always been less than stellar when it came to boundaries. With the divorce, however, the closeness has become too close. Some things are better left unsaid. Some secrets are better left hidden. The hardest thing about being an adult is the realization that, really, all adults feel like children.
Ending a marriage when you have children can elicit feelings of guilt ("What could I have done differently to save the marriage?") to panic ("How am I going to be able to support my kids financially and emotionally?") to reluctance and doubt ("Maybe we should just move into separate bedrooms and ignore each other?")
While no divorce is without challenges, getting through it shows your child how to work through hard times to achieve a brighter future.
I am a divorce lawyer, a divorce survivor, and once upon a time, I was a child of divorce. The divorce of my parents was a long time ago; I was seven to be exact, the third child of four. I remember the before, and I remember the after.
You can help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children in this age group by working together, as a team, on several issues.
Not everything I do is because of "the divorce" or because I don't like you. Please try to remember what you felt like when you were my age. No matter how good a parent you are, I'm probably going to try to pull away or even rebel in small or big ways.
Engage in age-appropriate conversations with your toddler. You must support your toddler by explaining that there will be a divorce and that one parent will not be living at home. This conversation should happen before the divorce occurs.
Parenting after divorce takes patience, cooperation and collaboration. It's not uncommon for one parent to notice behavior differences in their children when they return from a stay with their other parent.
Try not to be angry with mom and dad for this mess they made. They can't fathom the pain you're in, because all they can see is their own.
She may not hit, but she hits with words. In a sea of happy face stickers and bright blue stars, my daughter did not earn a reward from you today.
It is hard to hold such totally contradictory thoughts in my mind, but I have to because they are both true. Divorce gave me a new life, but divorce also destroyed the life I always hoped and dreamed I'd have, and I still mourn the loss of it.
If the Bar does decide to require certain disclaimers in lawyer blogs, how does that impact previously published blogs over which the attorney does not have editorial control?