April 13, 2009

Proper Parenting after Divorce

My children's father and I have been divorced for about 9 years. About as long as we were married. We have not always gotten along, as a matter of fact, for the first two years after we split, we argued constantly.

Mostly it was brought on by me. I was pregnant with our third child when he decided he wanted to be with someone else. I was angry. Angry beyond belief. I didn't see what I had done wrong in the marriage, only what he did.

Since becoming baptized again, and walking in the steps to become a better follower of HIM, I have learned a lot about personal responsibility, and forgiveness. It was also ironic that during my second marriage falling apart, I learned what I had done wrong in the first marriage.

One thing that has always been the most important thing for both myself and my children's father, is that the children come first. ALWAYS. This doesn't mean that they get their own way whenever they want. It means that we are doing our very best to provide them with the guidance they need to become good people.

I am proud to say that my children's father has turned out to be an amazing father. And not to toot my own horn, but I don't do too bad a job as their mother. I love that their father and I balance out each other in the parenting department.

While their father loves to take them hiking, fishing and camping....I concentrate on the educational side of them. It is the perfect balance.

We do not always agree 100% on what is best for the children, but we do agree that their needs come before ours. As humans, and as parents, we have made mistakes along the way. But we learn from them.

Please be mindful, especially if you are a parent who is divorced, to not let your hurt feelings get in the way of what is best for your children. Nothing is more sad, than to see a child being used as a pawn between his/her parents.

Here are a few tips that I have learned along this journey:
- Always be willing to talk, and put yourself in the other parent's shoes.
- Never, EVER use your child to weasel information out of...in hopes of learning about the other parent's life.
- Always put the children's needs above your own. This doesn't mean you buy their love with gifts and such. It means being willing to be firm when needed, and giving more love than you ever thought you could give.
- Be patient. Regardless of whose "fault" it is that you are no longer married, there are two sides to every story.

Be blessed!

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