Parenting Through Divorce: Are You a Rock … or Are You a Leaf?

July 25th, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

The other night we had a ferocious storm. Rain fell in sheets, lightning lit the sky, and the sound of thunder drove our dog under the bed. The trees bent in the wind, and just about everything not tied down took flight.
 
I watched leaves fluttering around the driveway, driven in circles by the wind. In stark contrast was a huge rock decorating our garden. That chunk of granite did not move!
 
Do children need leaves blown in the wind
or the security of rock-solid love?
 
Divorce can uproot even the most secure parents, leaving them unable to provide the type of limits, accountability, and consistency essential for raising respectful, responsible, and happy kids. Oftentimes, people are so overwhelmed by grief, loss, and other stress that they find it incredibly difficult to be the solid leaders their children need. When combined with dramatically different parenting between homes, we have a recipe for failure.
 
So … what can you do to give your kids the stability they need?
 
Keep your focus rock solid and simple:
Limits, Accountability, and Love
 
Regardless of what’s going on at your ex’s home, can you provide healthy limits in yours? Of course, wise parents set limits only over what they do or allow…not what their ex does or allows. While the kids may play endless hours of video games when they are with mom or dad, one strategy when they are with you, would be to say: “In my house, we do things such as ride bikes, play ball, or play board games instead.”
 
If your ex fails to hold the kids accountable with empathy and logical consequences, can you still do so when they’re in your home?
 
When limits and accountability are provided within the context of love, kids know that the parent setting the limits is strong enough to keep them safe and secure. While they may waver and wander, the odds are extremely high that they will come back to you…their rock.
 
Thanks for your reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
 
Dr. Charles Fay

©2012 Love and Logic Institute, Inc.

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