9 Things Kids Of Divorced Parents Don’t Want To Admit

By Ms. N. Meridian

When things don’t work out between you and the person you married, you suffer internally, agonizing over a new life without each other, reminiscing about the way he once made you feel. Then, it hits you: what about your children? What happens to them?

For most, the custodial decision is practical. The children will stay with you, their mother, their nurturer, their care-giver. You are the one who kisses their feverish foreheads, who cleans up the vomit and tucks them into bed. Is Divorce Becoming a Luxury?

Beyond the financial aspects of your marriage and deciding who keeps the kids, not much is discussed, and many parents forget about the emotional turmoil their children suffer as a result of divorce. But it’s not just the parents who suffer from the failed union. Often, children of divorced couples undergo the mayhem in silence.

My parents got divorced, and so did I, and I also have a child. Here are several things I’ve learned from both of our experiences:

1. Kids feel responsible. Children may feel an overwhelming guilt about the relationship ending. Some children may feel that the marriage ended because of something they’ve said or done. Sadly, without a parent’s reassurance that the divorce had nothing to do with them or their actions, your children may harbor this and may begin to feel anxiety over losing the other parent as well.

2. Their behavior changes. Some children begin to act out in an effort to display distance from their new home life situation. To suddenly go from a secure two parent home to a one parent home can be devastating for some. For others, withdrawal seems best to avoid getting hurt further. Of course, the child who is suddenly uncomfortable in an alien environment may retreat to the safety of their fantasies, friends, school work, anything to keep from admitting that anything is wrong.

Some even act out because the only parent in their lives full-time becomes too distracted and overwhelmed by the situation and thus, avoids the children. As a result, the misbehaving children begin to hope that their new behavior will force their parents to pay attention to them. It may be the only way these children know how to cry out for help.

3. They feel a sense of loss. Losing a parent to divorce can be just as traumatic, in some cases, as losing a parent to death. Where some once seemed complacent, many may feel loss because the other parent is no longer in their lives full-time. In DK Simoneau’s book, We’re Having A Tuesday, Simoneau describes how children living with both parents, but not necessarily under the same roof, can find solutions that work for both the divorced parents and the children involved.

In the end, parents have to yet again, read between the lines, follow all the nonverbal cues their children are sending out in order to help resolve this matter. Sadly, feelings of loss may always be with your child, but there are tactics we as parents can employ to decrease these feelings over time.

4. They may resent you. Although most parents try to shield their child from the harmful effects of divorce, resentment creeps in, nonetheless. This is especially true when one parent seems to have moved on to another love, another life and eventually another family. Children can feel displaced, not knowing where, if at all, they fit into their absent parent’s life.

5. They hate when you fight. Believe it or not, your children love both of you. So bashing one, or denouncing the other isn’t showing the children you’re a hero. In their eyes, you’re making an already difficult situation unbearable. Besides, fighting will only give the absent parent a viable excuse not to visit or communicate with their children. And guess who will be the bad guy in that scenario? I can assure you, it won’t be dad.

6. They need you to listen. Getting anything more than a few words out of your children gets harder as they get older. So shut up and listen! If your child offers that rare moment for you to get into his/her world, take it. When your children ask to talk to you, oblige them. Although the last thing you want to do is relive the doomed relationship, if your children ask about dad, offer a few kinds whenever possible.

Yes, you’re still reeling from your new situation, your new debt, and the fact that you now have to start playing the field all over again. But that’s not your children’s concern. Recall a few of the good times you had together, as well as what went wrong. I’m not saying you should reopen old wounds in this case. On the contrary, keep your explanation to a minimum all while reassuring your children that the divorce had everything to do with you and your ex’s relationship, not them.

7. They aren’t adults. Your child has been through enough in regards to the divorce. So keeping a set of rules by which to live helps reestablish your child’s understanding that although you may have been thrown a curveball in life, you’’e still holding everything together. Even if you are crumbling internally, your children don’t want to know this. It only frightens them. Not to mention, your strength and flexibility shows them that they too can handle difficulties that arise in life.

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VIDEO: Daddy Breaks Up “Fight” Between His Daughters

By Ayize Ma’at

Parenting 6 and 7 year old daughters is an EXPERIENCE!  Their little personalities amuse me on a daily basis and truly engender a sense of pride in being a father.  I’m ALWAYS on guard asking questions like, “Why do you have to put a skirt on?”,  “Why do you want the white baby doll?”,  “Why do you shake your hips like that?”,  “Why do you have to have a purse?” , “Why do you have to look cute?”, Why, Why, Why?????  Usually the Mrs. brings me back from going off the deep end by giving me some perspective on what it’s like to be a little girl.  I appreciate my Queen for giving me balance….Lord knows I’m gonna need it as my cutie pies mature and become grown women.

VIDEO: Naval Officer Dad Delivers Wife’s Baby On Highway. What A Surprise!

By Team BLAM

We love stories about Daddies delivering their babies. It’s so special and it’s a story that the family will always have to share and bond around. This story is a special one. Naval officer, Adam May, came home to surprise his wife for a 2 week stay and instead he got the surprise of his life—his daughter came into the world—in the car! Check out the vid. Congrats May Family!

“The One Who Loves Their Children Is Careful To Discipline Them”

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

 Proverbs 13:24
“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”Most parents have heard the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child.”
Many of us use the phrase as a justification for us spanking/whooping/beating our children. But have we ever read the entire verse in the Bible? The word that sticks out to me is “careful.” We have to be “careful to discipline them.” I think that care is something that is lost on most parents.
Think about it: you were trained for your job, you were trained to drive your car, but what did you do to train for becoming a parent. If you are like most folks that I know, that “training” involved a good time and a messed up form of birth control. Or if you were really advanced you attended a childbirth class. That’s great for getting a little person into the world but then what? Have you trained to handle a toddler? Have you trained to deal with a middle schooler? What about training to deal with a college student? Most folks would answer “no.” And that’s a problem.

The mere ability to reproduce does not make a person a good parent. Just because your mama was a good mama, doesn’t mean you will be a good parent. Being a good parent is innate in some folks. But what about the rest of the folks? Are they actively seeking training to become better parents?

I readily admit that I am not Dr. Spock or a child psychologist. But I am a scholar (normally, I am called a nerd). I believe in researching and trying different techniques to effectively parent my children. From reading articles on the web to checking out books at the library to talking to youth workers; I surround myself and my children with information to help us communicate better. Why? Because I love my children and want to be careful with the precious gifts that God has given me.

I want to make sure that nothing I say or do crushes any of their dreams. I want to make sure that they know that I love them, support them, believe in them. I want my children to come to me if they are ever in trouble. That doesn’t mean that they get a pass to act a fool, but it does mean that we will deal with it and I will still love them despite their misdeeds. I love my children enough to use care with them.

So take a moment a access your parenting skills. If you have a deficit in an area, work on improving it. Seek help at churches, youth groups, schools, or grab a book from the library. Check yourself. If you can’t objectively judge your own actions, take a look at how your children treat each other. What you see may shock you. When I saw how my oldest child was speaking to my youngest, I had to check my own tongue… Now I make a conscious effort to speak life to not only correct misbehavior but to praise good behavior.

So use care when disciplining your child, but make sure it comes from a place of love.

Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work atMyriadthatisme.blogspot.com.

Help I’m Stuck!!! It’s Difficult Adjusting To The Redefinition Of Manhood And Fatherhood

By Frank McGinty

Something happened the other day that made me feel uneasy. Yet I shouldn’t have felt that way!

My wife had left for work and I was hanging the washing out to dry. A neighbour from down the way was in his backyard doing the same. ‘Good day for drying’, he called. ‘Let’s hope the rain stays away.’

I had to think about what made me uneasy. Then it hit me. Two men hanging out the washing!

When I was a kid that would never have happened. That was women’s work, after all!

And that made me think about the changing role of men and fatherhood.

Change is seldom easy, hence the deeply buried sense of unease – even in someone like me who considers himself an enlightened individual!

The image of fatherhood has changed very much in recent years, hasn’t it?

We’ve come a long way from the distant, unemotional, patriarch figure. The god-like master who provided for his family, but didn’t expect to be troubled by family issues!

After World War II there was a definite shift. Men became much more involved in the play and leisure areas of family life.

Maybe this was due to the separation caused by the war and consequent feelings of vulnerability. But men still didn’t get involved in household chores!

Today we see a much more enlightened image of the male as a co-parent, getting involved in all aspects of family life and pulling his weight in the home.

Or do we? . . .

Are we really there yet? Some men are moving in the right direction. Others need a gentle push!

Perhaps they need encouragement more than anything.

Young boys tend to see their dads as role models and often absorb, even unconsciously, their dads attitudes and habits. So if some of today’s dads haven’t witnessed and experienced the input of an involved father, the role may not come easily to them.

And yet a dad’s involvement in family life has so much benefit both for the children, the mother and the dad himself.

By pulling their weight with the household chores Dads give a good example to their kids AND they help ease the burden on an all too often over-burdened Mum.

By getting involved in play and educational activities Dads can help build that vital relationship on which confidence depends: their own confidence as parents and the confidence of their kids to explore and discover their talents and abilities to learn the boundaries within which they must operate to absorb the values of the person in charge of them

So much to be gained, for all parties involved!

So if Dad is a rather reluctant participant in family matters, remember that as well as a firm push he may need lots of encouragement.

After all, the role may not come easily since hundreds of years on non-involvement are in his genes.

Let’s all look forward to the day when hanging up the laundry is no big deal for a Dad!

Happy parenting.

I Swear I’d Rather Die Than Be Labeled As “The Guy”

By Ayize Ma’at

MUSIC VIDEO: In a world where the spotlight shines bright on Deadbeat Dad’s we wanna pause and give a standing ovation to a brotha unashamedly representing “real manhood” through a profoundly positive and passionate depiction of what it means to be a FATHER.  Hats off to you Tray “Poot” Chaney for inspiring me and many others to firmly embrace the role and responsibility of fatherhood through your emotionally charged mantra “I swear I’d rather die than be labeled as “the guy”.  That’s real talk and i’m straight diggin’ it.  BLAM Fam check out the video and let me know what you think.

New Year’s Eve Ideas For Families With Children, i.e., When You Can’t Go Out!

I can’t remember the last time my hubby and I went out to bring in the New Year. Our oldest is 10…so maybe 10+ years ago? There are some holidays that are just hella hard for parents to get out and celebrate and New Year’s is one of them. Why? Because everybody and their mama is celebrating in some way or another. They’ll either be at the club, having a wonderful diner in a nice restaurant, on their knees at church giving thanks and praise, or at IHOP at 2am having a early New Year’s Day breakfast. The bottom line? Ain’t nobody at home! Lol! So, families with young children have to get creative! That’s what we’ll be doing this year (but I just told my husband we’re going out next year!) 😉

Check out these Family Fun Ideas from Familyfun.com:

First Night

Celebrate NYE with a family friendly First Night. There are many cities across the country that now hold all-day festivals for entire families to enjoy. Many are alcohol free and celebrate the communities’ local culture.  Check out the First Night USA website to find one in your state.

New Year’s Eve Sleepover

Instead of the traditionally champagne-fueled party, why not hold one specifically for your kids and their friends? Get together with your parent friends and host a good old-fashioned slumber party. Eat tons of junk food, let the kids run wild, and stay up to watch the ball drop!

New Year’s Resolutions

Decide on family resolutions for next year. What would make your family stronger? Do you need to spend more time together? Can you make a commitment to whole-family health? Some ideas are to watch less TV, eat dinner together four nights a week, and spend weekends doing something physical. Group resolutions are more fun and easier to accomplish because you can hold each other accountable. One way to keep yourself and your family on track is to remember that it’s a process and that one slip-up doesn’t negate all the progress, so KEEP TRYING.

Day of Firsts

Spend the first day of the new year doing ONLY new things. Eat all new foods, wear new clothes, only go to new places, and take a new route there while you’re at it! Is there a road you’ve never been down? Is there a town nearby you’ve never visited? Use this new day and new year to experience anything and everything you can think of. I know I want to try some new foods because that’s one of my weird hangups. I’m picky and hard to please, so why not start off 2012 fixing that.

New Year’s Crafts

Make confetti balloons to pop just as the clock strikes TWELVE! Write a time capsule letter to document this year’s favorites and next year’s expectations. Read the letter next year on December 31st to see how close you were and to see how things have changed. You can also use this fun free printable wish-list to map out the coming year.

I’m looking forward to wrapping up this year and welcoming the new one with my family. I want to try out many of the things on this list, and save a few for when my kids are old enough to play along. What are you planning for your family?

VIDEO: Dwayne Wade Speaks On Fatherhood & Growing Up Without A Father In His Life

NBA star Dwyane Wade talks to ABC’s Juju Chang about being a single dad raising two sons, growing up without a father in his life, lessons of parenting, promoting the concept of family through his Wade’s World Foundation, President Obama asking him to become an ambassador-at-large for fatherhood and much more.

It Matters When Dad Shows Up

By Jill Nagle

I just talked with a new coworker whose pictures of his beautiful family were flashing over his screen. We talked about parenting, and kids. Here’s what he said about fatherhood:

“My wife and I have very separate busy lives, but because we are both active in our daughter’s life, our relationship grows stronger. Many times I wonder how I “turned out OK” because my father was the typical dad of his day, and I was on my own to “grow up.” Taking an active role in helping my daughter learn new things continues to teach me about myself in return! The ability to be a part of her life and development as a person is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given.”

I knew what he was talking about. Media images from shows in the 50s and 60s (like “Leave it to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” ) showed pretty segregated gender roles. Stereotypical Dads impregnated their wives, brought home the bacon, and meted out discipline when Junior didn’t obey. Nowadays, that’s the kind of scenario someone might bring to therapy to “recover” from.

Times sure have changed.

Though economic pressures weigh heavily on most families, and segregated roles still seem to be the only viable alternative in many two-parent families I talk to, many families find ways to mix things up regardless. Some have for generations!

Here are three of the biggest benefits I see that men get when they show up and decide to take on parenting as part of who they are:

1) Wholeness. The more time men spend with their families, the more perspective and balance they feel with their outside jobs (and yes, challenge to keep that balance). This results in greater ability to relax (it’s hard to be uptight with little ones jumping on you and giggling),more of an overall sense of well-being, and greater contact with the whole of their humanity, including the part that gets to relate to others. Yes, that great guy is more than a money-making machine-he’s a warm and wonderful DAD!

2) Greater closeness with partner. If a man is partnered, and he and his partner share child responsibilities, they share a significant part of their worlds. When two people have completely separate worlds, they have less to talk about and can become more entrenched in what’s necessary to inhabit the world they spend the most time in. This was most obvious in housewife-breadwinner “Leave it to Beaver” roles of the 1950’s, but still can exert influence on families today. When those roles are more fluid, there’s more common ground to share and bond around. Families who share responsibilities also have a chance to share more intimacy.

And here’s the best thing a “Show-Up” dad gets:

3) A real relationship with his children. We get the relationships we cultivate. When we show up and take an interest in what our kids are doing, listen to them, share in their worlds and share our worlds with them in appropriate and joyful ways, (funny, it works this way with adults, too!) we form the foundation for a rich and rewarding relationship for the rest of our lives.

Jill Nagle is a family mediator who co-writes Awake Parent Perspectives, an online weekly newsletter at http://www.awakeparent.com Frustrated with toddler tantrums? Not sure if you’re raising them right? Feeling disconnected from your partner? Subscribe to http://www.awakeparent.com today!

Dad Is Holding It Down. Delivers Family’s New Baby In Bathtub!

NEW HAVEN, CT (WVIT/NBC) – Cherie Grace’s baby wasn’t due until Friday, so when she started feeling labor pains days before, she thought she had some time to wash up before heading to the hospital.

Little did she know little Aaliyah Mary Blackwell had other plans.

“After the bath, she started to come out, no questions asked,” said Randy Blackwell, Aaliyah’s dad.

Blackwell rushed to Grace’s side and called 911. At the same time, he prepared to deliver his daughter in the bathtub.

“The baby’s head was starting to crown and I was trying to juggle that, empty the bathtub, trying to deliver her and talk to [911] at the same time. Two minutes later, she was born,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell took care of the umbilical cord and made sure Aaliyah was breathing. When the baby started screaming, he could finally take a deep breath himself.

“You don’t really have time to think. It’s just everything is happening right now, and just the adrenaline is kicking in, you just do what you have to do,” Blackwell said.

Now, holding his firstborn in his arms, he can only imagine the future joys of fatherhood, which started with a pretty amazing delivery.

“I guess not too many fathers can say they delivered their own child, not nowadays, so it’s a little special,” Blackwell said.

Source: WVIT/NBC