Many people have asked me what it’s like growing up with divorced parents. Growing up with divorced parents is probably one of the hardest things you’ll have to deal with. I can only hope and pray that when I have children one day, they never ever have to wonder about which parent they’re going to go to first when it’s holiday. I’ve read up on a few articles about single parenting after being divorced and raising kids etc. I can’t comment on that as I’m nowhere near being a parent yet and I obviously don’t have any experience on parenting but I can definitely give tips to a parent/s who is struggling and isn’t sure on how to handle the situation when it comes to their kid/s.
Don’t speak negatively of the other parent in front of your children. Even if they’re in the same area as you busy with something else, just hearing the name vaguely will draw their full attention to your conversation and it will hurt them or make them feel guilty.
Don’t share the details of your divorce with your kids. They don’t want to hear any of it. It’s already bad enough for them as it is. They hate seeing they’re parents upset, especially if they can’t do anything about it. Keep it private and don’t discuss it at home with your family/friends when they’re around you. It really is annoying walking into a room where everyone stops talking as soon as you arrive.
Be approachable. I think a big mistake you can make, is force your child to pick sides. My parents both talk about each other and I think that at a stage this divorce definitely brought out the worst in both of them. Let your child decide where they want to be on their holiday, maybe discuss having your child for one Christmas holiday and then the next year your child goes to the other parent. Don’t make your child feel guilty about their decision because it really isn’t easy for them. Don’t think that if they choose not to spend their one holiday with you that it’s anything you’ve done. I promise you that if they could be with both parents at once, they would.
I sit with one parent who is quite laid back, easy to talk to and of course approachable how ever my other parent is always keen to ‘one up’ the other parent. It’s like playing a game. You’d think that after fourteen years of being separated, the conflict would stop, but it hasn’t. Divorce is a difficult time for everyone but even more so for children. I know that every divorce case is different. Some are easy and some are ugly. Either way, it’s still a family being pulled apart and that’s what permanently scars children.
To the single parents out there – Keep going. We as kids know that you are trying your best to keep everything together, no matter how hard. It’s okay to make mistakes, we all do. With all your flaws, you are perfect.
You’re more than enough.