First up- thanks for all the interest that was shown in last week's posting. It seems that the discussion about the true humanity that is revealed in times of a crisis or a disaster really resonated with people.
I was talking with someone the other day about how they handled the complexity of dual relationships, and how challenging these become, when one of the relationships finishes, yet the other relationship needs to continue. The outcome of our conversation was that it can be a huge juggling act, and that there needs to be strict boundaries put around the relationship that is finishing.
What I'm really talking about about is how parents who have been in two relationships handle the decline of one of those relationships, ie., when their couple relationship finishes. Or to be specific, how they maintain an effective parenting relationship, on finishing their couple relationship. Especially if the separation or divorce is not straight forward- and let's face it, it's pretty unusual if they do unfold smoothly. But the kids that have been the focus of that other relationship (ie., the parenting relationship) still need that parenting team to be working and effective. They are entitled to this. It is not their fault that the adults/parents could not work out their issues with each other.
The bottom line is that separation and divorce will always (regardless of the age of the kids) have an impact, with the degree of impact largely being determined by parents. Kids will need extra help and support through one of the biggest transitions they are likely to endure in their lives. They will often not have the words to describe what the personal impact is like for them. They need to be supported by a united and cohesive parenting team if they are again to become resilient. Yet this is the very time that parents are likely to be caught up in their own anger or their own loss and grief. Or they may already be immersed in the excitement of a new relationship. Regardless of any of this, the children are still entitled to the very best of parenting that the parents can achieve, and parents, regardless of the status of their own relationship with each other, need to do this together.
I feel strongly about this, but there are others who will talk about it in more depth and with more expertise. And of course the net is literally awash with info about the impact of separation and divorce on kids. If you want to read some more about all of this, kick off here: parenting247.org
Cheers- talk soon....
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."