how to deal with kids after a divorce

Robyn - posted on 08/02/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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i am currently going through a divorce. my ex has worked a job where he is gone all week and only home on the weekends, which now has become every other weekend due to his new relationship. how do i deal with 3 kids (11,3, and 2 years old) with the family makeup not relly changing much other than mom and dad are no longer together?

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Isobel - posted on 08/02/2009

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If the kids are used to seeing him every weekend, maybe they should see him every weekend. I know that it's tough, depending on schedules and everything else, but my ex works ever saturday, so he picks them up after work and drops them off on sunday...surprisingly, it's not such a big deal

Christina Marie - posted on 08/02/2009

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it gets better! I have two children from my ex of 6 years. We have been divorced over 2 years and seperated 2 years before that. My son was 6 and my daughter was 3 when he decided he wanted a better model. I had to explain to my kids why daddy didn't want to be at home. That was hard, cuz the anger wanted to come out but I had to hold back. I took my son to a therapist for a few sessions and it worked, she taught him how to deal with the divorce and change. I had an issue with the ex bringing new girls around the kids, he didn't listen to me. So, my kids got attached to the better model and they married, well he found an even better model. Now I have to deal with my kids through another divorce and it's NOT mine. So, I am honest with my kids to their level and every year that level expands. The movies and cartoons explain a lot to my kids as well. My son compares his dad to Drake of "Drake and Josh'...that is sad. Through all this their dad keeps quiet and doesn't talk to the kids about any of this, he hasn't told them of the up and coming divorce the new soon-to-be ex did. He only sees them one or twice a year for two to four weeks at a time (military) and has much more quality time with them then when we were married and raising them together. I can only live my life for my kids until they grow up and start out on their own. I know I will do everything I can to be a good parent, I won't lie and if telling the truth makes the other parent look bad then I guess the other parent should take responsiblity with their actions. Our kids did not ask to be brought up with these situations but they happen. My kids know we stick together through good and bad times and are open and honest with eachother. I tell them to talk to their dad and tell him honestly how they feel, he needs to hear what they have to say and how they feel...I wish you luck and take it one day at a time and always know you are stronger then what you think!!!

Kirsten - posted on 08/02/2009

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it is really gd that you have been able to stay friends through such a hard time, believe me is is so horrible not having that, and it is beter for the kids that it can be worked out between the two of you and not have to see the fihting or courts ect...(my daughter is 5 now and doesnt want to go to her dad sometimes but he wont listen to her and i have to take her cause i have court papers, its never gd she misses out on so much)

as for you honey there is nothing that can make it heal faster.. only time heals all wounds all i suggest is to go out with friends for coffee, take the kids to the park or movies even home movies, any other thing you can think of that will keep you busy and your mind off the pain that your in. it is hard but believe me being on gd terms is very important... for both you and your kids, and it is quality not quantity, you said he had moved on so now he has less time, i know you prob dont want to hear it but when the time comes that you move on maybe it would be gd that he doesnt spend so much time cause it will be easier for you to adapt to your new life with out always worring about him.. so go out have fun and try hold your chin up cause you know what they say, never frown.. cause you never know who may be falling in love with your smile... take care :)

Rebecca - posted on 08/02/2009

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It feels that way and it is hard as the children don't understand and they will probably at some point blame themselves for their dad being gone. You can reassure your 11 yr old that you are not looking for a new daddy for him. I understand about "dad" not taking the time you feel he needs to with the kids. When my youngest was born my ex didn't take the time to spend with him. He was 3 before his dad acttally took the time to spend with him. And he still feels that his dad doesn't want him as much as he wants his brother. But you just have to take the time to talk to the kids. I still recommend counseling. We did family counseling (the kids and I) when my youngest was about 4 (he's 10 now). It helps.

Robyn - posted on 08/02/2009

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the hard part of it all is that he says he was unhappy for a while....we would have been married 3 years come sept 5th. he was 19 and i was 25 when we married and i had already had his first child. he felt he got married too young, rushed into marriage. i had told him before we married that we could just stay friends if thats what he wanted but he thought he was doing the right thing. we are still friends but i feel that when he is here for them, he not spending enough time with them. i know its the quality of the time not the quantity, but the little ones just make me wanna cry when i hear them in their sleep crying out for daddy or during the day asking about daddy. my 11 year old is his stepson and had gotten finally where he did things with him. my 11 year old is very perceptive for his age and had mentioned to me that he doesnt want another daddy; my ex is the only daddy he knows.....i still love him regardless but it just hurts so much that i swear i will never get through it.

Lynda - posted on 08/02/2009

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As far as being a single parent, well...it seems like you probably have that part under control. I am divorced and re-married, and I feel the best thing to do is be as respectfully honest as possible (in a child friendly way) and if there is anger for your spouse involved, set it aside when dealing with your children because they have thier own feelings that they need you to help them work out. Don't try so much to "explain" everything in a big sit down conversation...that is more how adults deal with things. Answer their questions as they arise, and be supportive and loving. Every once in a while, ask if there is anything they want to discuss. If the answer is no, then just keep your hearts eye out for them. Good luck. (((((hugs))))) for you.

Kresha - posted on 08/02/2009

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If you can keep a good friendly relationship with your ex the better you are. I went through a divorce about 3 years ago and it was really hard on the kids and even harder because all we did was fight over who was having the kids when and then his new girlfriend was involved and it got worse. Now 5000.00 bucks later everything is good because we don't speak negative about each other in front of the kids and try to only talk when we have to about the kids. Most important thing is to keep the kids happy and don't let them see you fight when its time for them to be with the dad tell them have a good time and you love them. I had to learn the hard way which really hurt the kids I wish I could have done things differently now. Hope this helps

Rebecca - posted on 08/02/2009

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I've been there when my kids were 8, 6 and unborn. It's hard but you need to be as honest as you can with out laying blame on either party. Most of what you are going to have to explain will be to the 11 yr old. The other two are too young to understand at this time. You need to sit down with him and let him know that you and dad have grown apart and are getting a divorce. Reassure him that it is not his fault. You can always ask him if he would like to talk to someone outside of the family about what is happening and if he does talk to his school and see if they have a counselor on hand or check you local listings for a youth service buearu or some other counseling service that works with children. Then just be supportive and let him talk to you but don't use him as a sounding board use your friends or a counselour of your own.

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