I just spent a wonderful weekend with my daughters visiting a close family of ours that adopted with us nearly ten years ago. My daughters are Chinese and one thing I believe in is keeping them involved in activities that teach them about their culture.
But as I wait for my divorce to draw to a close, the weekend away also gave my daughters a chance to forget about what has been going on at home between their parents. I intentionally do not discuss the details of the pending divorce for many reasons, but mainly for the fact that the ones who will be hurt, will be my children. As one person decides to carry on a conversation about what they heard, to another, details start to change, and not for the better. The average divorce process does not need any help getting more tense and hurtful.
My children are my main focus in this process. At one time, I referred to my ex and I as “the best of both worlds” in parenting. Their mother was the soft and cushy parent, while I was the firm and safe parent, consistent. For the longest time, this worked. And during a recent medical emergency, in spite of our current differences, my youngest’s mother and I were given a stark reminder that there was still co-parenting to be done, as we discussed treatments for her visit to the ER. And we did it. For those few days, we put our differences aside, and helped our daughter to recover.
I want my children to be allowed to be children. I have done my best to make sure that they do not witness any discussions between my ex and I. But that does not protect them from innuendo and rumors spread by others. To think I felt frustrated when my children went from one of us saying “no” to asking the other parent in hopes of that parent saying “yes”. I am certain that our two different parenting styles will be coming forward now.
But for a weekend, I gave my daughters something that they do not often get anymore, an opportunity to have fun, and to just be kids again.
One of the potential consequences of changing relationships is ‘parental alienation’.
Thank you Judith. I went through it as a child myself, and it was 18 years my father could never get back.