After hearing so many stories in the past week about how adults were affected by their parents divorse
I ask professional Denny Hagel to be a guest blogger whom has over twenty-five years experience in researching, studying, practicing and teaching children and coaching parents about the importance and value of self-esteem in our lives. It is her passion to assist parents in empowering their children with this knowledge to create a generation that will be immune to the negativity they may encounter in the world.
When Angela first asked me if I had any articles on Divorce that I would like to share on her blog-site, I thought oh my yes…I have done the divorce topic inside and out…the pain of divorce, helping your children through divorce, helping yourself through divorce, guilt-free divorce, successful divorce. The list could go on and on and they all pretty much cover the same points. Be kind and loving toward yourself, forgive your ex-spouse and make sure your kids know that in no way shape or form is the divorce their fault!
Now, don’t get me wrong, these are all very valid and important points but how many times do you need to hear them? And really, if I wrote another piece using these topics, how many of you would stop half-way through thinking “heard this already!”
So, rather than rehash things I am pretty confident you already know, I thought I would write about whether or not parents choose to implement this information that we are so familiar with and if not perhaps motivate them to do so.
In order to do this, I am sharing with you a letter written by an 11 year old girl whose parents are divorcing…
Dear Mom and Dad,
Ever since I can remember you have made me feel like I am the most important thing in your life. You made sure I knew I could trust you and depend on you and that no matter what you would make sure I was safe. You always told me if I had a problem, I could come to you and talk to you about it and that you would be there for me and help me.
Well, I need to talk to you now. I have the biggest problem I have ever had and I don’t know what to do. The two people that I love the most in this world are really angry with each other. They can’t even stand to be in the same room together anymore. One of them cries all of the time and the other speaks with an angry tone even when there doesn’t seem to be anything to be angry about at the moment.
These two people are the two that used to make me feel safe and special and loved and now they act like I don’t even exist. Their lives have changed so much and I don’t even know for sure why. They both tell me things about the other that they don’t like and think are wrong and that feels really uncomfortable to me. Sometimes I think they each want me to feel like they do, really sad or really mad.
The truth is I am really sad when I see one of them feeling so awful that all they do is cry and want to stay in bed but I am confused as to how this is the other one’s fault.
I do feel really mad when the other one acts angry all of the time because I want to help but I don’t know how.
Nothing is the same anymore and it would help me so much if I just knew what was going on. They both tell me they still love me no matter what, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we have all become strangers and it really scares me.
I have tried to find out why everything has changed so much and they just ignore me. They tell me everything will be okay and that I shouldn’t worry but that is really hard to believe when everything I see tells me just the opposite.
I just wish they would stop acting so mean and hateful and just figure out how to solve their problem, whatever it is. I am not a baby anymore and maybe I wouldn’t understand totally what has happened between them, but at least if they would talk to me, I would know for sure if I did something wrong or if there was something I could do to help.
All I know for sure is that everything that really matters to me is gone… and I am scared and confused and worry what else is going to happen.
So, Mom and Dad, I hope you can help me like you always said you would. I hope you can help me feel like I am the most important thing in your life. I hope you will help me understand why my life has turned upside down so I can feel safe again.
Thanks for being the best Mom and Dad in the whole world and thanks for listening to me.
I love you both,
This letter was written to me and my ex-husband by our daughter, Cally, over 22 years ago when her father and I divorced. It brought me to me knees at a time that I thought nothing could be any worse. Its enormous impact made me realize how self-absorbed we had both had been while dealing with our own emotions and struggles. It made me realize that I needed to step away from my private world of pain and gain a perspective on the situation that would allow us to be the parents that our daughter deserved.
We began by having conversations (with a wonderful counselor) that included our daughter where the ONLY topic was her thoughts and feelings. Neither of us interjected our feelings or opinion of the other…this was for our daughter and about our daughter. Having a glimpse into what goes through a child’s mind when the security of all they have known is crumbling around them can be a huge wake-up call and eye-opener. Regardless of my background and education, it certainly was for me.
It is my hope that by sharing my child’s perspective with you, it will serve as a motivator to those either contemplating or experiencing divorce to make the effort to implement the important information we are all aware of.
· Talk to your children
· Listen to your children
· Put your children first
· Do not criticize your spouse in front of your children
· Do not attempt to make your child take sides, it is not their battle
Life is full of struggles and challenges and it is unrealistic to think we can protect our children from the realities of life, however, when we can, when there is a choice, we must always remember that our first duty is to our children.
Divorce is never a pleasant experience and there are always scars, some deeper than others. Our job as parents is to do all we can to minimize the scarring.
Awakened Parenting, founded by Denny Hagel, is a company dedicated to helping parents raise their children the way Nature intended it to be…with a positive mindset, confidence, a positive self-image and an understanding of their power and responsibility in lives through their choices, and most importantly a healthy self-esteem.