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Parenting through a divorce

Updated on July 30, 2007

Being a parent is not easy, but can easily be one of the most fulfilling things one does. In an ideal world, there are two parents, living together, with the child. In the real world, it is rarely like that. Due to whatever reasons, divorces, separations can and do occur. It is during this that sometimes one or both the parents become a selfish entity caring only for themselves, and for revenge on the other. They lose the focus on what is important, and instead become fixated on demeaning the other parent, insulting, withholding visitation, and treating them as less then a person, and definitely not the other parent.

As a divorced parent myself, I understand all too well the feelings one goes through. Not getting to be there for every step and word the child makes, all the spare time with them, feelings of resentment towards the mother, feelings of betrayal, and even failure. One thing that we were able to do, was work through our differences, and put our daughter first. And a lot of times, this is the case. But not all parents are able to be adults. Sure there are the cases where the divorce is due to abuse (physical, emotional, or mental) reckless behavior (drinking and driving, drug use) and in these cases the child should be kept away for their own safety. Allow supervised visitation if they wish it, but these are usually the cases where they are so self-centered that they think of nobody but themselves anyway. I am discussing cases where it is due to two people unable to be together for other reasons.

Tip1: Act your age. The time for petty grudges and revenge is way past. Put the child first. You do not have to like the other person for whatever differences you have, but it is not a reason to deny them to see their child if they wish it. At a young age especially, the child doesn't care what happened, all they want to know is why daddy/mommy does not want to see them. And parents, if your ex wants to see the child, never ever let the child think different. Children need that love from their parents. Remember, the child is more important then your hurt feelings.

Tip 2: The child is your child, not a bargaining tool, not an object to lord over the other parent. Do not use visitation as a means to get your way. It sickens me to see this happen. Put the child first.

Tip 3: Get a mediator. If you are unable to come to terms on your own, get a mediator to help work out something that is fair for both sides. Sometimes when emotions are high, things are said and done that make it harder and worse. Mediators come in and look at both sides and help compromise.

Above all else, please, remember the child is first. Their safety, their happiness, their well being depends on our ability to be adults and provide for them, and put them first.

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