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Hold your tongue about the ex-spouse

November 26, 2007

by Jennifer Gallus

I’m writing this from my experience of being a child of divorced parents. My parents divorced when I was 10 years old, and I will always harbor some sadness about it.

With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to write a reminder to those divorced parents who are trying their best to perform a balancing act between sharing their children for the holidays between two different households.

Please, under no circumstances should you tell your child negative things about the other parent. Your child already knows that you two don’t love each other as you once did, and that hurts enough.

My parents did pretty well in this department after the divorce, but when name calling and complaints did occur, it really bothered me.

However, what impressed me, even as a young girl, was that when I would complain about one parent to the other, they would tell me not to talk about that parent in such a way.

They backed each other up even though they were like oil and water at that point in time.

I recognized that they could’ve taken my side and pitted me against the other parent, but they didn’t. That teaches loyalty and respect.

Holidays are hard on both the parents who have split up and the kids. I remember my mom sounding so lonely one Christmas Day because my siblings and I were with my dad even though we had been with her on Christmas Eve. I could tell she had been crying when I talked with her on the phone, and it kind of eats at your heart.

Sometimes kids of divorced parents feel like they’re shuffled around both physically and emotionally.

I pray divorced parents give their kids extra attention, especially this time of year, and hold their tongues about the ex-spouse.

I also pray that parents who are thinking about divorce try to work things out in any way they can. Marriage isn’t always easy or bliss, and we must be vigilant in seeking ways to keep things spicy and fresh.

I think those of us who are children of divorce know the consequence to kids’ quality of life after the divorce – even if life before it was horrible as well. It’s a touchy subject, but I hope what I’ve shared will help at least a couple parents to think twice about a few things.

Kid-isms

The news was reporting that a bank had been robbed and a car was stolen as a get-away car. My 6-year-old said, “So, they robbed a bank and then they robbed a car – that would be hard to do!”