To, For or With the kids?

Image result for parenting and divorceWhile a relationship breakup requires that many aspects of oneself and one’s life need to be re-looked, it is sad that one’s role as a parent often seems to be unclear.

While a divorce/separation will inevitably require that you adjust your family’s time, schedules and finances, as a parent your role and responsibilities remain unchanged! This needs to be clarified and understood with utmost urgency!

Yet a divorce/separation seems to transform individuals to a point where their parenting role and responsibilities are greatly challenged and even distorted.

As a parent, aside loving your children unconditionally, you need to recognise your responsibility to assist in your children’s development and you need to make choices that will determine your own behaviour in this life changing event.

The ending of your relationship has understandably hurt you and angered you, but this cannot become the grounds from which you will now raise your children, teach them about life and contribute to their childhood memories.

As a parent facing a separation, letting your emotions take over can have a huge effect on your children.

Here are 3 different ways to better understand how you may be relating to your children and the effect it may have on them.

There are parents who do things TO their children

In this instance, parents are motivated by their unresolved emotions. The decisions they are making as parents are based on their hurt and anger and are therefore self-centred. They are not doing things in the best interest of the children. They are making decisions to make themselves feel good and not considering the repercussions it will have on their children. Not supporting your children to have a loving relationship with both their parents and not contributing to their financial needs are the most common. Here, children are in the middle of your conflict and well on their way to grow up as damaged adults.

There are parents who do things FOR their children

These parents are addressing their children’s needs better, but do so to be recognised as a “good parent”. The focus remains on the parents and they are more concerned about what people may be thinking of them. They may be generous financially but miss to understand their child’s emotional needs. They may encourage their children to remain in touch with their other parent but unconsciously are raising children who will feel guilty having a relationship with their other parent. Doing something FOR your children is usually conditional and children are likely to learn being manipulative from a young age.

There are parents who do things WITH their children

These parents value their parenting time and parenting responsibilities. They nurture conditions for their children to grow up healthy and happy. They understand that raising children is a multi-year full time job which requires love, support and care inside and outside of the home. Children are allowed to be children and will collect happy childhood memories, feeling loved by and loving both their parents.

The Law doesn’t raise children, parents do!

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