Updated: Mar 18
Lost some sleep? Feeling a little out of sorts? We are hearing that from our clients who are juggling family, work and other obligations.
Families who share their children are my heroes. They take on the single parent responsibilities while maintaining a cordial and forgiving attitude towards the person they had to disconnect from as a spousnte. This new partnership is not easy. What was once a shared experience, a two income household is now a solo flight with kids sitting in the back seat wondering when this is all going to be over.
Ever think of how these brave kids are taking this transition in their lives? Silently, for the most part. They don't talk about it to their friends. They feel a little embarrassed that their parents aren't together so they just don't talk about it. They don't talk about it to their parents because they are afraid they will set one or the other off on something they said. It is no wonder we have so many kids of divorce in counseling for stress. It has to come out somewhere and at times it comes out in school problems or cutting, or substance abuse. These silent participants of the cold wars of their parents need a place to vent.
Some want to vent about the new boyfriend, or the arguments they have to endure during exchanges. Some want to talk about being left alone at mom's house while she works the second job or at dad's house when he runs out to do his workout routine. Who can blame either of these situations, yet many children of divorce feel short changed when it comes to the attention category of their lives.
Several years ago, I gave kids sentence completions to let them find out more about themselves. Most said their favorite food was spaghetti or hot dogs, and what they liked about their parent was "takes me places". I thought that was an interesting answer, and when I questioned further, it meant...got to spend time with that parent. Most households go about their business, parents paying bills in one room, kids on video games in the other. Playing board games is a great connector, but actually going out to the park or a movie together is a big deal to a ten year old.
Food for thought. Try this experiment at home. Let us know how it works.