Anticipation and fear traditionally mark the first day of school—for both children and their parents. As children head back to school, parents worry. They worry about how to pay for all the books, clothes, and technology. About whom will influence their children. About how to balance their
Beth and Joe just looked at each other. Had they really just decided to divorce?
Though they had talked around the idea in counseling and with friends, neither truly expected it to come to this. Yet, both realized–here it was.
Then, the next question hit–
How do we tell the children?
In the middle of their own heartbreak,
“I just don’t know what to do!” exclaimed John. “I’ve tried talking, reasoning, and even asking to go back to mediation. She either says we’ll work it out between us, she or doesn’t respond at all. What can I do?”
John is caught in a classic war of wills with his ex-wife—and
“Do I take Tommy to his mom’s?” wondered Jeff. “She works at the hospital, and her new husband is a police officer. I know she wants to see him, but what if…..”
School closures, day-care disruptions, and home confinement have stressed all parents. Co-parents
“The New Year’s decorations did it. I pulled out the platter we use to serve the first meal of the year and make resolutions, and there were our names–Jeff, Jenny, Jamie, and Joe.? Then I looked at Rob–how could I put my ex-husband’s name on his table? But, there were
“I don’t remember any gift I got for Christmas, Jenny shared in therapy. But, I can tell you the color of the wallpaper in Mom’s foyer. The feel of the carpet on the stairs. The sound of dad’s car as he drove in. That’s what I remember about Christmas. That’s
“It’s time,” said Joe. Donna nodded. They both felt it coming. Once out in the open, they felt relieved that the decision to divorce had become final. But now. . .they needed to tell the children. “What will we say when they ask, ‘Why?'” Joe muttered.
“Today is going to be a great day!” Andy thought as he scrambled the eggs for his daughter’s breakfast. “Amy is up. We are ahead of schedule. Everything is running smoothly.”
“Dad! I left my violin at Mom’s! I need it for rehearsal.”
Andy threw the
Brad stared at the phone dumbfounded. I offered to take the kids this weekend so Julie could go out with friends for her birthday. Why is she yelling at me?????
Brad isn’t alone. When former spouses try to talk to each other, all too often they end up frustrated and confused.
Jenny arrived at the mediation session before Dan visibly fuming. After a few polite preliminaries, she bluntly stated. My son will NOT spend one night at his father’s house.”
As I tried to explain parenting guidelines, she exploded, “I don’t care what the parenting guidelines