We just had a wedding!! Julianne and Boyd were married this past weekend and it made us think about the balancing act that they had to do between 3 different families.
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How can we help them in their balancing act?
There are always going to be big events that you have to attend with your coparent and possibly a significant other. How can we make this easier on the kids?
Over time this evolves too. It can also ebb and flow depending on your relationship with your ex.
Polite and friendly should be the very least you should do.
Dear Mom and Dad,
The operative word here Mom and Dad is My events. You are a guest here and I ask you to act accordingly. My events include but are not limited to:
1. My teacher’s conferences.
2. My athletic events.
3. My musical recitals.
4. My birthday party.
5. My school plays.
6. My school graduations
7. My Prom
8. My going to college
9. My wedding
So here are some guidelines which I ask if you can’t follow, best you postpone coming until you can.
Your Divorce, My Event
My life outside my family’s divorce is very important to me. It is also what keeps me sane in this world called “figuring out two houses by myself.” Whenever I play soccer, I only want to focus on playing soccer. If divorced parents come to watch our games, I don’t want the two of you to stand out. I also prefer you don’t rush to bring your latest “squeeze” and I won’t be able to tell you my preference. When you both have new people in your life, Dad I don’t want you to call Mom’s BF a Pr$%^& and Mom I don’t want you to call Dad’s GF a Wh)(&^*. Yes, this has happened to other kids way too often.
If you use my events to vent your anger at each other, I suffer the most. I am embarrassed, ashamed, and I let my team down because I can’t focus on the game. Keep your divorce out of my events! Don’t use my events for your anger.
Be concerned about me!
Whenever you come to my teacher’s conference remember why you are there. Hopefully, you are there to see how I am adjusting to being the child of divorced parents. My teacher’s conference is not a place for you to compete for who is being a better parent. Ask my teacher how she thinks I am doing and what you can do to be a better parent for Me! My teacher’s conference is an opportunity for you to find out about my welfare. It is an opportunity for you both to make my life easier by listening to my teacher’s recommendations.
My school graduations, music recitals, school plays, and even my birthday are my events. Therefore, Once again you are a guest! Ask me if I have any requests from you. Do I care if you sit together or apart? Let me know who is bringing me and who is taking me home. If you have feelings about any of the logistics, work it out with your therapist.
I understand if I have one or two contentious divorced parents you will always sit away from each other. Don’t scream or yell at each other it is my event. Never try to make me feel guilty if I hug both of you and am nice to both of you. Don’t tell me I can’t say Hi to my other parent or even try to keep me from greeting my other parent. Yes, this also happens all too often to kids. Once again remember this is an important event for me. Remember it is not about either of you!
The more you do your inner work and move on from the divorce the better things will be for me. I don’t want to be your confidant. I have to figure out love after going through the trauma of my parent’s divorce.
And, I cannot figure out your love life so zip it. When I go off to college, leave home, get married, and/or all the normal things people do, I expect you both to be focused on what I need not each other and your unfinished business. By the time I get married and I have to figure out how to handle two families to my finances one please understand. Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Divorce doesn’t have to be the most traumatic event of a child’s life. When parents divorce as adults, get an adequate support system, reinvent themselves, and move on we all benefit. So to recap:
1. Remember it is my event and you are a guest.
2. Remember no anger allowed at my event.
3. Remember no unfinished business at my event.
4. Remember I will be greeting and hugging both of you.
5. Remember ask about how I am doing if appropriate.
6. Remember I want all of us to happily land on our feet.
It’s pretty simple really. My events are important to me and for me. Please use them to be the great parent I know you can be.
Lemonade moment of the week:
Broken down car, Broken garage door, Rain, cold, Nothing could stop the wedding.
What is Where's the Lemonade??
They say when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. Making lemonade is not always easy or possible. For us, we found ourselves single in our 40's with kids at home and starting life over again. Luckily we found each other, online no doubt. When we began blending families, schedules, traditions, and laundry, we discovered lots of lemons. Our podcast is a reflection on how we get through the hard times and enjoy the good times on our new journey together, all with ten kids in tow. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you make lemon squares. Lemonade might come later.