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Archive for April 8th, 2008

Here’s a truth: Kids will be kids.

They learn to play the situation to their advantage. It’s human nature to play to the strengths and weaknesses of those we have relationships with and kids are the experts – because, in many cases, they want the “normal” that they lost in the divorce back in their lives.

Who can blame them.

When I left my marriage after 20 years, I wanted that normal aspect of my kids’ lives to remain in tact. I only removed some personal belongings from the home they’ve known most of their lives – some clothes, a couple pieces of furniture that came from my Mom. Everything else stayed in place by design. In the process I made sure the kids’ Mom could keep the house that had no value to me, but immense value to her and the kids. Stability. In the meantime, I established a home not far away where each of my teens have their own space. It’s no frills, but comfortable. They are taken care of, by many measures, better than a lot of children get taken care of by parents who reside under the same roof.

But, I think, in the two years since leaving that marriage, I’ve painted a false image of what “taken care of” means to me in order to accept the simple fact that I broke up my home and family.

The kids want to know they’re loved, at the end of the day. They want to be happy and not feel weird about having conversations with each parent about who’s job it is to pay for a prom dress, or whether or not a computer is going to get fixed so it can be used for school projects, or if there are enough clothes in the closet to wear to school. These are just simple things that should be automatics…givens…in order to ensure issues don’t pile on the other REALLY important kid issues of the day.

Teenagers face so much in their teenage lives. Peer pressure, teachers who don’t give a damn, puberty, emotion, and an innate desire to just want things to fit in with the crowd. Sometimes going unnoticed is bliss.

Each day, as a parent, it’s our duty to our kids to express that inordinate, unconditional love that proves to them normalcy can exist no matter what situation they find themselves in…even if just for 10 minutes a day.

Who doesn’t want that?!?!

-end-

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