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A Tale of Two Sisters...My Entry into the COD Debate

Posted by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM
  • 24 Replies
2 moms liked this

Two sisters have the same father..

Sister 1 - BM and BF divorce before she is aged 1.  For 5 years she is passed between BM and maternal grandparents.  Just before age 5 BF comes and assumes custody of her.  While in the care of maternal grandparents (who also remain a large part of her life until their deaths), and even into adulthood she is treated as the "poor widdle COD" that SMs have a problem with.  Coddled by her grandparents and until removal from her care, her BM, told how horrible it was that her parents are divorced.

Sister 2 - BM and BF divorce before she is aged 6 months.  She is in custody of BM, with visitation to BF. BM & BF agree to never discuss divorce in negative terms to their DD.  And to this day, that agreement has been upheld.  DD is raised to believe that the divorce was as much FOR her emotional well being as it was for her parents well being.  DD was NEVER led to believe that the divorce was harmful to her in ANY way.  

--------

Sister 1 - 42 years after her parents divorce, she is sitll victimized by it.  She stayed in an abusive marriage b/c she didn't want her kids to be COD.  And now, that they are, she refuses to set appropriate boundaries because "they have suffered enough with our divorce".  She has a 13 year old son who has raised his hand to her and now her 11 year old daughter is following suit.  And many therapist have traced their behavior to her attitudes which have been traced back to what she was taught by her BM and GPs.

Sister 2 - 37 years after her parents divorce, has NEVER been a victim of her parents divorce.  She is able to celebrate what her parents divorce brought to her life, and what she would have lost much earlier had her parents remained married.  She does remain wistful about wishing she had memories of her parents together, however, knows that wasn't the card she was dealt and is pretty well-adjusted about it, and always has been.

____


I think something parrot said about how she acted after her divorce to her DD's BF is appropriate - she took more time, read one more story, returned to airplane feeding, etc.  But Parrot, didn't you SLOWLY get her to stand on her own?  You haven't continued to coddle her, am I correct?  Because what I know of her, she is a very independent young lady, responsible, a mother's dream.  So somewhere along the line you instilled in her that strength.  IMHO, that is the antithesis to that which you are arguing. You can not instill strength (or any of those other character traits which your DD seems to demonstrate) while allowing them to use their COD status to remain a victim.

And isn't that what we're talking about?  Now.  When a SM says that BM is giving the "poor widdle COD" treatment and it's been 6 months, it borderlines on ridiculous.  A teenager whose parents have been divorced for years and the child is being allowed to blame the divorce for bad behavior?  We don't like our kids to blame medical conditions for bad behavior - why are we going to allow them to blame their parents?

____

The 2 sisters are me and my next eldest sister.  We share a father.  I'm #2.  She is 42 and because she has never been taught anything otherwise, she still blames her parents divorce for bad behavior on her part, being beaten by her husband, and is passing these attitudes on to her own children. 

grey ribbon

During the month of May, I wear my gray for Brain Cancer Awareness in memory of my momma (BM).  She fought her battle from May, 1988 - October, 1998.  Love and miss you much.

by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Coddle is a negative word, I don't think that is positive parenting, I think taking extra care is required for children of divorce by their parents those include the things Parrot mentioned she did. I think a positive also is that her DD remained her primary focus until now her DD is ready to try her wings, she was NCSM (Dad's wife) so her parental focus was only on her DD. I don't believe there is a time limit on that extra care, they should always get that until they are adults, believe that extra care doesn't mean bad behaviour or habits are being ignored or encouraged, the child will still be corrected.

my $0.02.

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM
1 mom liked this

I get what you are pointing out. It makes sense. My post was only born out of reading some responses to another post where some of the women where quite cold in their replies. I kept thinking about my ex meeting one of these type women and that type of attitude being pushed upon my child. It made me shudder to think about it.

No, I never stopped 'coddling" her. But maybe I have a different view on coddling than others? I am the last mom to tolerate bad behaviors. I was still her mom even though the family dynamic had changed. I even became "dad"! But, from the days of getting closer to her because it was just us together, it changed something too. When I started to truly become ultra focused on her and her needs, a special type bonding happened. I continued with the special care and treatment of her. We became best buds. I know alot of people think that becoming friends with your children is a bad thing....I say hooey on that notion. I was still able to effectively discipline her just fine.

My parenting methods actually really have never been to punish. I decided early on to use natural consequences as a form of SELF discipline.

for example: in daycare when she was about 6. She was taking her McDonald land toys to school and selling them during the summer. The kids would have money because the daycare would do lots of field trips. My daughter ended up with 27.00 when she was finally caught. The teachers sat us down and the brow beating commenced. I stayed silent. I could tell they wanted me to get mad at her. I did not. I refused. She had already been put in time out and had priveleges  taken away from her by the day care workers. When I took her home. We had a talk. I wanted to know if she knew it was wrong to to what she had done. She said no. And she didnt understand in her little world why not. Then I had to ask myself, "why WOULD she know this is wrong?". So we talked about different rules for differnt places and in that place, they had that rule and we must follow those rules. I asked her if she understood that and she said yes. I asked her if she would be doing it again if she now knew it was wrong. She said no. Then I laid out for her what her pennance might be from me if she ever did it again. She never did it again. I even took the opportunity to  praise her on her entrepeneurial skills! But that this wasnt where you could do it at. Then I helped her make a Lemonade stand that very same weekend. Have to admit, the kid had something going!

Point being, I could still be her best little buddy, which had grown from the closeness we had from the onset of the divorce and STILL be an effective disciplinarian.

This is how we continued our relationship to today. She is now 3 months shy of turning 18. She has a PT little job and takes care of her gas and other needs through that and I still spoil the ever loving shit out of her when I can. I gave her a note to sign herself out of school just this morning because her friend is getting out early and they just want to hang out together. Natural consequences comes into play here. She knows if she is missing work. She knows she has to make it up. And she does. WITH OUT BEING TOLD. She is also set and ready to go to college with a bright futures scholarship and one for cheer.

So I dunno. Does it really take being a harsh and unfeeling, unEMPATHIZING human to understand to get them through a divorce? You wont get MY vote on that one.

TheStepMonster
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I agree with everything you've said here.  My only point in this is at some point, and for EVERY child it's different, but at some point there becomes a line where you move from extra care to inappropriate coddling.  At some point, when the child is being hindered from moving on, or standing on his/her own because of the parents attitude towards the divorce are moving the child from COD "survivor" to COD "victim".   I don't think there is a set time limit "after 6 months, you should be done" for giving extra care.

 BUT - there's also a part of me that wonders if it's less extra care and more the realization that time is fleeting and things could change in a heartbeat.  Where a parent may have exhibited less patience, and pushed the child towards independence faster, the divorce spoke to that parent...whether it's because the divorce was a sudden surprise or because now they have to relinquish their child for a prescribed amount of time each month - but they appreciate everything, even if it's just a hint more.  

Quoting leegirl_jm:

Coddle is a negative word, I don't think that is positive parenting, I think taking extra care is required for children of divorce by their parents those include the things Parrot mentioned she did. I think a positive also is that her DD remained her primary focus until now her DD is ready to try her wings, she was NCSM (Dad's wife) so her parental focus was only on her DD. I don't believe there is a time limit on that extra care, they should always get that until they are adults, believe that extra care doesn't mean bad behaviour or habits are being ignored or encouraged, the child will still be corrected.

my $0.02.


grey ribbon

During the month of May, I wear my gray for Brain Cancer Awareness in memory of my momma (BM).  She fought her battle from May, 1988 - October, 1998.  Love and miss you much.

TheStepMonster
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM

I SOOOO want to respond to this.  And I will.  I have a phone interview in 7 minutes and need to go vomit before hand (it's 2 1/2 hours away...and my nerves are shot).  I'll be back in about 30 though :)

Quoting baparrot2:

I get what you are pointing out. It makes sense. My post was only born out of reading some responses to another post where some of the women where quite cold in their replies. I kept thinking about my ex meeting one of these type women and that type of attitude being pushed upon my child. It made me shudder to think about it.

No, I never stopped 'coddling" her. But maybe I have a different view on coddling than others? I am the last mom to tolerate bad behaviors. I was still her mom even though the family dynamic had changed. I even became "dad"! But, from the days of getting closer to her because it was just us together, it changed something too. When I started to truly become ultra focused on her and her needs, a special type bonding happened. I continued with the special care and treatment of her. We became best buds. I know alot of people think that becoming friends with your children is a bad thing....I say hooey on that notion. I was still able to effectively discipline her just fine.

My parenting methods actually really have never been to punish. I decided early on to use natural consequences as a form of SELF discipline.

for example: in daycare when she was about 6. She was taking her McDonald land toys to school and selling them during the summer. The kids would have money because the daycare would do lots of field trips. My daughter ended up with 27.00 when she was finally caught. The teachers sat us down and the brow beating commenced. I stayed silent. I could tell they wanted me to get mad at her. I did not. I refused. She had already been put in time out and had priveleges  taken away from her by the day care workers. When I took her home. We had a talk. I wanted to know if she knew it was wrong to to what she had done. She said no. And she didnt understand in her little world why not. Then I had to ask myself, "why WOULD she know this is wrong?". So we talked about different rules for differnt places and in that place, they had that rule and we must follow those rules. I asked her if she understood that and she said yes. I asked her if she would be doing it again if she now knew it was wrong. She said no. Then I laid out for her what her pennance might be from me if she ever did it again. She never did it again. I even took the opportunity to  praise her on her entrepeneurial skills! But that this wasnt where you could do it at. Then I helped her make a Lemonade stand that very same weekend. Have to admit, the kid had something going!

Point being, I could still be her best little buddy, which had grown from the closeness we had from the onset of the divorce and STILL be an effective disciplinarian.

This is how we continued our relationship to today. She is now 3 months shy of turning 18. She has a PT little job and takes care of her gas and other needs through that and I still spoil the ever loving shit out of her when I can. I gave her a note to sign herself out of school just this morning because her friend is getting out early and they just want to hang out together. Natural consequences comes into play here. She knows if she is missing work. She knows she has to make it up. And she does. WITH OUT BEING TOLD. She is also set and ready to go to college with a bright futures scholarship and one for cheer.

So I dunno. Does it really take being a harsh and unfeeling, unEMPATHIZING human to understand to get them through a divorce? You wont get MY vote on that one.


grey ribbon

During the month of May, I wear my gray for Brain Cancer Awareness in memory of my momma (BM).  She fought her battle from May, 1988 - October, 1998.  Love and miss you much.

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM


Quoting leegirl_jm:

Coddle is a negative word, I don't think that is positive parenting, I think taking extra care is required for children of divorce by their parents those include the things Parrot mentioned she did. I think a positive also is that her DD remained her primary focus until now her DD is ready to try her wings, she was NCSM (Dad's wife) so her parental focus was only on her DD. I don't believe there is a time limit on that extra care, they should always get that until they are adults, believe that extra care doesn't mean bad behaviour or habits are being ignored or encouraged, the child will still be corrected.

my $0.02.

And boy do I hesitate to say this in this room. But, isnt that how it should be for us NCSM's?As a BM, do I dare say that almost complete seperation works better in these instances? Meaning: Do we need to question just how important it is to blend families to such a disgusting point to where everyones lives are compromised?

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM
1 mom liked this

Disclaimer alert! By no means do I have a perfect child! She has an entitled streak in her a mile wide! Sometimes I like that in her sometimes I dont. I know that she is the type of girl who knows what she wants, gets what she wants and very rarely settles for what she doesnt. She's going to be an awesome adult! I will not have to worry a bit about her. Its just when she puts those demands on me ai get highly irritated. But I say no. She gets moody. I pour a glass of wine and ignore some more. She gives me the silent treatment. She doesnt get what she wants. Then we move on to the next day. But that could also just be her age and gender having a fight with itself too! LOL!

leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I agree that every child is different and each individual child will have different needs to better handle the divorce. I think divorce affects a child's sense of security and especially where the other parent may end up missing for the most part, the custodial parent has to give that extra care to make up for that absence in the best way they can.

Obviously how the parents (or extended family) handle the situation and the child will affect the outcome however your sister's personality dictates how she handles her life situation as well.

Quoting TheStepMonster:

I agree with everything you've said here.  My only point in this is at some point, and for EVERY child it's different, but at some point there becomes a line where you move from extra care to inappropriate coddling.  At some point, when the child is being hindered from moving on, or standing on his/her own because of the parents attitude towards the divorce are moving the child from COD "survivor" to COD "victim".   I don't think there is a set time limit "after 6 months, you should be done" for giving extra care.

 BUT - there's also a part of me that wonders if it's less extra care and more the realization that time is fleeting and things could change in a heartbeat.  Where a parent may have exhibited less patience, and pushed the child towards independence faster, the divorce spoke to that parent...whether it's because the divorce was a sudden surprise or because now they have to relinquish their child for a prescribed amount of time each month - but they appreciate everything, even if it's just a hint more.  

Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Well, you know I agree with that view but apparently that is a taboo view when blending is all the talk.

Quoting baparrot2:


Quoting leegirl_jm:

Coddle is a negative word, I don't think that is positive parenting, I think taking extra care is required for children of divorce by their parents those include the things Parrot mentioned she did. I think a positive also is that her DD remained her primary focus until now her DD is ready to try her wings, she was NCSM (Dad's wife) so her parental focus was only on her DD. I don't believe there is a time limit on that extra care, they should always get that until they are adults, believe that extra care doesn't mean bad behaviour or habits are being ignored or encouraged, the child will still be corrected.

my $0.02.

And boy do I hesitate to say this in this room. But, isnt that how it should be for us NCSM's?As a BM, do I dare say that almost complete seperation works better in these instances? Meaning: Do we need to question just how important it is to blend families to such a disgusting point to where everyones lives are compromised?


Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

newstepmom61811
by on May. 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM
But your examples have nothing to do with your kid being a kid of divorce...your example ha to do with you being on a different page with the daycare on what you believed was a wrong act or not and what your discipline style is...that is apples and oranges from the topic of coddling COD...you aren't even having the same conversation the SMs are who are dealing with SKs who the rest of the family makes excuses for very poor and generally accepted poor behavior because well "thue're kids of divorce"...my MIL tried o explain away SS screaming back at adults, back talking adults, being physical an rough with other kids as "well he's a COD, take it easy on him." My answer was "no, just because he's a COD doesn't give him a pass to violate others and if he is hurting that bad the act if love is o get him help because he's so hurt he's spinning out is control and coddling him IS NOT helping his hurt...he's getting into trouble and hurting worse...and I am not a cold SM AT ALL for having that limit...I said enough is enough and for him the help he needed for HIS benefit for the exact reason I LOVE HIM an want the best for him in life and want his pain healed...you do in fact have a clouded view on this parrot.


Quoting baparrot2:

I get what you are pointing out. It makes sense. My post was only born out of reading some responses to another post where some of the women where quite cold in their replies. I kept thinking about my ex meeting one of these type women and that type of attitude being pushed upon my child. It made me shudder to think about it.

No, I never stopped 'coddling" her. But maybe I have a different view on coddling than others? I am the last mom to tolerate bad behaviors. I was still her mom even though the family dynamic had changed. I even became "dad"! But, from the days of getting closer to her because it was just us together, it changed something too. When I started to truly become ultra focused on her and her needs, a special type bonding happened. I continued with the special care and treatment of her. We became best buds. I know alot of people think that becoming friends with your children is a bad thing....I say hooey on that notion. I was still able to effectively discipline her just fine.

My parenting methods actually really have never been to punish. I decided early on to use natural consequences as a form of SELF discipline.

for example: in daycare when she was about 6. She was taking her McDonald land toys to school and selling them during the summer. The kids would have money because the daycare would do lots of field trips. My daughter ended up with 27.00 when she was finally caught. The teachers sat us down and the brow beating commenced. I stayed silent. I could tell they wanted me to get mad at her. I did not. I refused. She had already been put in time out and had priveleges  taken away from her by the day care workers. When I took her home. We had a talk. I wanted to know if she knew it was wrong to to what she had done. She said no. And she didnt understand in her little world why not. Then I had to ask myself, "why WOULD she know this is wrong?". So we talked about different rules for differnt places and in that place, they had that rule and we must follow those rules. I asked her if she understood that and she said yes. I asked her if she would be doing it again if she now knew it was wrong. She said no. Then I laid out for her what her pennance might be from me if she ever did it again. She never did it again. I even took the opportunity to  praise her on her entrepeneurial skills! But that this wasnt where you could do it at. Then I helped her make a Lemonade stand that very same weekend. Have to admit, the kid had something going!

Point being, I could still be her best little buddy, which had grown from the closeness we had from the onset of the divorce and STILL be an effective disciplinarian.

This is how we continued our relationship to today. She is now 3 months shy of turning 18. She has a PT little job and takes care of her gas and other needs through that and I still spoil the ever loving shit out of her when I can. I gave her a note to sign herself out of school just this morning because her friend is getting out early and they just want to hang out together. Natural consequences comes into play here. She knows if she is missing work. She knows she has to make it up. And she does. WITH OUT BEING TOLD. She is also set and ready to go to college with a bright futures scholarship and one for cheer.

So I dunno. Does it really take being a harsh and unfeeling, unEMPATHIZING human to understand to get them through a divorce? You wont get MY vote on that one.


baparrot2
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this

I know it is taboo. But I think about it alot. Sometimes I see trying to blend these families too much and wonder if it would not just be better off if clearer lines were drawn. Let one take the reigns. I truly believe it worked for us. But it was by default.

I spent quite a few years thinking that somehow she would be all messed up if her dad wasnt a big part of this family equation. I would try to get him involved. I am starting to have a different view now. Maybe a view he held all along. That it would be best if he stayed in the distance since things were going smoothly and had the benefit of living in a pseudo nuclear family. He does like my DH very much. That helps. Maybe he was the smarter one all along.

Maybe all these NCP's fighting tooth and nail for this day and that day and this hour and that hour ad nauseum isnt what ENDS UP being for the best of the child.


Quoting leegirl_jm:

Well, you know I agree with that view but apparently that is a taboo view when blending is all the talk.

Quoting baparrot2:


Quoting leegirl_jm:

Coddle is a negative word, I don't think that is positive parenting, I think taking extra care is required for children of divorce by their parents those include the things Parrot mentioned she did. I think a positive also is that her DD remained her primary focus until now her DD is ready to try her wings, she was NCSM (Dad's wife) so her parental focus was only on her DD. I don't believe there is a time limit on that extra care, they should always get that until they are adults, believe that extra care doesn't mean bad behaviour or habits are being ignored or encouraged, the child will still be corrected.

my $0.02.

And boy do I hesitate to say this in this room. But, isnt that how it should be for us NCSM's?As a BM, do I dare say that almost complete seperation works better in these instances? Meaning: Do we need to question just how important it is to blend families to such a disgusting point to where everyones lives are compromised?



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