Tough Words About Kids

The words on this page really are tough words for parents to hear. Many of you will applaud them because you think they’re about your spouse. You’re right, they are. The tough part, though, is that they’re also about you.

One of the dirty little secrets about divorce is that most divorcing couples don’t argue much about children or about their parenting plan. They usually argue about money. About how to divide their property. Aboutchild support. About alimony. And even when they’re arguing about children, it’s often really about money, or, even more sadly, it’s really about using the children as a weapon to hurt their spouse.

I have some tough words and then some reassuring words.

I’ve learned that most people going through divorce can’t focus on their children. I’m talking about good people. Caring people. Loving people. But when they’re going through divorce, they just lose sight of what their kids need.

My guess is that if you’re going through divorce, you’ve already figured out that you need to tell everybody that your kids are your number one concern. You know to appear focused on your children’s welfare. You know to go through the motions of evaluating every proposal in terms of how it might affect your children. I know my clients always do. Our culture demands this of you.

But deep down, you cannot focus on your children. You must protect yourself.

Now here’s the reassuring part.

It’s okay.

It’s normal, and I believe okay, for you to focus on what you need. Your children need you to get through this, and they need you to be sane when you finish. They also need you to have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food on the table.

Get through this. Survive. Finish dealing with people like me.

Your children will get through this. When I’m out of your life again (and I will be soon enough), you’ll be able to care for your children as the loving, caring, focused parent that you have always been.

I know it. I’ve seen it happen with others. It will happen with you too.

You can select one or more of these pages to read more about helping children through divorce.

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