5 Things Children of Divorce Don’t Want to Deal With

Growing up with two married parents, I really didn’t have a framework for what my daughter, a child of divorce, would go through when her dad and I split up. Although I hate the expression “child of divorce,” as we didn’t make her from divorce, the fact is she has a rather different experience than I did as a child. I wanted to understand what it might be like to go through her shoes. So I interviewed my friends, at least 10 who were all children of divorce, and over time as a parent undergoing the divorce process, I learned a lot about what things a kid doesn’t need to hear or deal with about divorce or from his or her divorced parents.

1. Negative Comments About the Other Parent

I don’t really care if your ex was a deadbeat dad or if your ex-wife was a royal b*tch. The bottom line is your child most likely loves the both of you so much that your negative comments or a family member’s comments, like a grandparent or aunt or uncle, are detrimental to your child. When someone else goes to say something bad about a child’s parent during or after the divorce process, it injures the child severely.

Read More: 5 Things Children of Divorce Don’t Want to Deal With

Be the Adult,

Laura

The Other Woman Who Snuggles My Daughter

“I wanted blood.I wanted to take her and toss her into the ocean and never look back again.”

Parenting after divorce has its heartaches that no one may ever whisper aloud, until now.

Read my essay in the New York Times.

Trying to Have Faith and Believe More Love is a Good Thing,

Laura

 

Is Your Ex’s New Wife a Mom? If No, Does It Matter to You?

My ex has a new girlfriend and I have never met her. I know extremely little about her other than her occupation, where she lives (out of state very far away!) and who she lives with, and that she’s near my age and not a mom.

Does the last part matter to me? Well, sort of. Is “sort of” an answer? We don’t get to pick who are exes pair off with nor do we have any choice in how our exes introduce our kids to their partners or how they have their new flames interact with our kids (double too bad). This is one of the hardest parts about divorce: our children interacting with total strangers and sometimes staying over at these people’s homes. But it’s something we have to accept and cope with otherwise the possible anger, worry, and fear will consume us alive.

But does it matter to you if your ex’s new love is a mom or no?

Read More: Is Your Ex’s New Wife a Mom? If No, Does It Matter to You?

 

Laura

3 Ways Divorce Impacts Only Children Differently

Sixty-four percent of children (classified as people ages 0 to 17) live with two married parents today as opposed to 77 percent of children in 1980. These statistics don’t account for children living with remarried parents, but the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 15 percent of children were living with two parents in a remarriage. Any way you slice it with these statistics, it seems divorced families and/or other alternatives to the typical married family household are on the rise.

Knowing this, I felt somewhat better when my ex and I decided to divorce. We both came from married families and so divorce was very different from our upbringing. I even did a lot of reading on children of divorce and felt I understood why my daughter had first responded so strongly to the divorce. She had just turned 3 when we separated and so there was regression in terms of toilet training as well as lashing out aggressively toward myself and on occasion her peers. A year and a half later, she is doing great, but the one thing I had not considered in her divorce experience until as of late as we finalize the divorce was her only-child status.

 

Read More: 3 Ways Divorce Impacts Only Children Differently

Kids Need Our Support,

Laura

Children of Divorce Benefit From Play Therapy

I am not a play therapist nor am I a therapist or social worker.

I’m just your average everyday mother with a beautiful only child– a child of divorce.
My ex-husband (it’s almost official) and I were both raised by two parents that stayed married and are still married. Neither of us could really understand nor will we ever fully understand the position our daughter is in. For me, it was a no-brainer that play therapy could help our child. It took longer to convince him, but he’s a believer now I’d say!

A former teacher, I had seen children go through a lot of nasty divorces and I had promised myself when the two of us decided to divorce that we would never be those parents arguing in the school parking lot and that promise has been upheld.

Read More: Children of Divorce Benefit From Play Therapy

Believe It,

Laura

5 Reasons Hating Your Ex Is Bad For Your Kids

I am very mad at my ex today as I write this. Really mad. Angry as hell even. It took me a long time to get mad at my ex and you know what? To some extent some angry is good in the grieving process of divorce. It helps you let go of those romantic feelings you may have as you two split. It also helps you start to recognize the things that weren’t working in your marriage and it may even get you to focus on you and all of your dreams and goals. It becomes a problem however, when you hate your ex so much that the hatred consumes you and is unrelenting.

It becomes a problem when your kids notice that “Gee, Mommy really hates Daddy now doesn’t she?”

If you really hate your ex I know it’s hard to hold it back, but keep in mind why biting your vicious tongue is a good idea around your kids with these points:

Read More: 5 Reasons Hating Your Ex Is Bad For Your Kids

Do the Right Thing,

Laura

Should You Meet Your Ex’s New Partner Before Your Kids Do?

For most single and divorced parents, getting to meet an ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend before the kids do is not even an option. Your ex wouldn’t think of even bothering to do that, but if your ex takes your opinion seriously and wants you to get a feel for his new partner before your children meet her, do you go? Or do you say, “No thanks”?

In my opinion, unless it’s incredibly hard for you (we’ll discuss this later), you should go!

Read More: Should You Meet Your Ex’s New Partner Before Your Kids Do?

Take the High Road,

Laura

Why We Need to Be Better at Supporting Single Dads

It’s not easy to be a single mom, and as mothers we know this whether we are one . . . or not. It’s common for women to support other single moms and to appreciate how that can be a tough journey as a mom and person, but it’s rare that people offer sympathy for single dads. Every Father’s Day, there are people on my social media feed as well as major corporations acknowledging the women who are pulling both mom and dad duties, which is heartfelt and amazing.

But what about single dads?

Read More: Why We Need to Be Better at Supporting Single Dads

Rooting for Everyone,

Laura

What Items Your Kids Need at Both Coparents’ Homes

Fifty-fifty custody or a shared custody situation can be a pain to manage. If you thought one house was work, try balancing life between two homes. It’s doubly hard for your kids who actually have two residencies and not just communicating between the two homes. With that said, however, there needs to be a method to the madness that is coparenting, and one of these battles is knowing what your kids should have, must have, and don’t “have to have” at both homes in order to feel happy and at ease.

Read More: What Items Your Kids Need at Both Coparents’ Homes

My House is a Home Without Her,

Laura

Is It Brave or Insane to Choose to Divorce?

This is the thought that goes through my head sometimes, fifteen months after separating from my ex-husband (our divorce is still not official).

“Am I brave for moving forward with him, with the divorce? Or am I insane?”

Originally when we separated, a year or more seemed so far away. I thought for sure I would feel better — for good. I didn’t predict how tough it would be. I didn’t predict how sharing our child would still, fifteen months later, suck. Yes, suck. Splitting our daughter’s time in half has been tremendously difficult. When she is gone, it’s like I’m in the black & white scenes from the “Wizard of Oz”: twisters, an evil neighbor, and the dreariness of a flat Kansas plain about to erupt in a storm. All the color goes out of my life to some extent, and the house is eerily quiet.

Read More: Is It Brave or Insane to Choose to Divorce?

Insanely Brave,

Laura