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Ask Joanie: Is Divorce Ever Good for Kids? SWEEPS WINNER ANNOUNCED

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Congratulations to our mom, aneela, for winning the sweepstakes!  

The Mad Life Panel tackles a tough question: Is divorce ever good for kids?

We're thrilled that Mad Life's very own Joanie Robach, will be joining us in the group to answer YOUR questions on this important topic, and to share her personal observations and experiences!

Check out the Mad Life episode below, then ask Joanie your questions.  Joanie will be joining us next week to share her answers!  Every member who submits a question in the replies below will be entered to win a $50 Target gift card!

Thanks for joining us, Joanie!

Click to learn more about Mad Life panelist, Joanie Robach.

Joanie's answers begin HERE

Giveaway rules:

  • The Ask Joanie giveaway starts 1/7/13 at 12pm (ET) and ends 1/20/2013 at midnight (ET) (the "Giveaway Period").
  • Enter by replying to this post with an appropriate comment during the Giveaway Period.
  • Multiple entries are permitted and encouraged, as it increases your chances of winning.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing of all eligible entries to receive a $50 gift card to Target.
  • The random drawing shall occur on or about 1/21/13.
  • No Purchase Necessary.
  • Open to US, DC, and PR residents 16 years and older.
  • Void where prohibited. Click here for the rest of the Official Rules.
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Replies (151-160):
by New Member on Jan. 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

What can us parents do if 3 kids previous relationship and our 2 kmew ea other as toddlers but now grown they seem to have issues  with dad for always being here for our 2 but not there for them now no contact what can I do to mend these broken hearts?

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Your response should be tailored to his age.  Young children need short, simple explanations.  If your child is older, you can get into more details.  Just remember to try and avoid any negative comments about your husband - difficult to do, but you will be taking the high road.  "Dad is very busy at work right now, but I'm sure he misses you so much," or something along those lines.  J

Quoting 120177:

My husband left me and my son feb 5 of 2012 and it will be one yr soon. He has connect his son only 6 times. Is there any tips for me to make it easy for my son?? He all ways ask why his dad not here???

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Non-custodial parents typically continue to have financial responsibility  based on their income.  J

Quoting momofsixangels:

If the man gets custody of the children should the woman pay child support?

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM

So sorry you and your sisters were split apart for a while.  Hopefully you have been able to reconnect as adults.  There's nothing like having a sister in your life!  All the best.  J

Quoting sparky1006:

Well years ago I was a child and my parents divorced'.

But now divorce seems different when my parents split.

God love them they are both deseased.

my question is( how do you know which parent should be the one who takes the female child?)

I had 3 other sisters,they were all older than I was.My 3 older sisters picked to go with my father. I talked to the judge and I wanted ,to go to.But since I was 8 I was told I had to go with my mother,I wanted so badly to be able to go with my sisters.I didn't do drugs,or lash out or turn to a mean child.I thank god that I turned out the way I did.Eventually Idid when I got older go to live with my father.And I'm glad I had the chance to do so

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I'm so sorry you and your children are going through this difficult time.  Obviously, you have no control over your STBX and when/how he chooses to introduce the children to his significant other.  Try, try to stay as positive as you can and refrain from adding in your opinion.  I can't imagine how tough that would be for me.  Better to just let her vent and tell her it's OK for her to be extremely angry.  

Quoting MommaNuney:

How do you cope/handle a situation where STBX has introduced gf after only one month after I filed for divorce and DD8 has expressed her "hatred" of it? This is a hard one for me to even tackle.

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM

So happy to hear you've started counseling with the kids.  Smart move.  I would also look into any community (YMCA, etc.) or church groups that have classes for kids going through similar situations.  The more outlets they have for their emotions, the better.  I'm sure your counselor would have additional information on this.  All the best.  J

Quoting louannwilkins:

I have a question.  If there is physical abuse and substance abuse and the divorce proceedings counseling enough for the kids?  Do you think there's anything else that can help as well?  Thanks

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM

So much depends on the availability of the parents.  Is there a parent who would be able to spend more time at home with the kids?  Whatever schedule you work out, keep it as consistent as possible.  The least disruption to the child's regular lifestyle (same school, neighborhood) will provide them with an increased sense of security at a time they truly need it.  

Quoting Juniper53098:

I believe that marriage is "till death do us part", unless there is abuse or adultery.  In the case of abuse, divorce, of COURSE, is best for the kids.

What kind of child placement plan do you think is best for kids, when both parents are "good parents"?

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I've heard this one many times before, and yes, they can be master manipulators. Divide and conquer as they say!   As frustrated as you must feel, try and remember that he is a child and has conflicting emotions right now - jealousy, fear, anger - that he can't possibly process at his age. There are so many great books on the subject of step-parenting!  Of course, counseling would be another great option, however it can be costly but well worth the investment.  Good luck.  J

Quoting ScrChk23:

 Are there ways to combat children trying to manipulate the parents?  My soon to be SS will make staements to his mother that are untrue just to get her rialed up and try to start an argument with his father.  For example: My SS told his mother that 'Santa' only brought my son presents and not him.  Which is totally untrue.  Both boys recieved the same amount of gifts.  They were the same style too (Legos, movie, Fathead, pajamas, remote controlled cars, Leap Pads, and a Scentsy warmer to share in their room- they are 6 and 5.5).  Naturally his mother flipped out and called my DF.  This is not the first time he has been ungrateful.  But that is another issue we are dealing with.

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:42 PM

So awful for you!  Sorry you have to deal with this additional stress in your life right now.  Since it seems you and your ex are able to communicate well, I would ask your ex to speak to your MIL and tell her to stop the negative comments.  If that doesn't work, ignore, ignore, ignore.  If she continues, it will more than likely backfire.  I'm a big believer in karma.... :-)  J

Quoting sandbuster:

My question is how do you get your ex's mom to back off?

My ex and I do pretty good going back and forth but his mom underminds me and makes nasty comments about me.

by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Advantages:  Children get to see both parents equally and on a regular basis.  Certainly strengthens the connection.  Also gives each parent a bit of a break from the rigors of parenting!

Disadvantages:  Children being shuffled around and not feeling like one place is really home.  It would be a big disruption to their lives, unless the parents are the ones moving in and out of the family home.  

Personally, I would have missed my children so much during the time they were away that I don't think I would have been able to handle this!  

Quoting MamaPeanut:

Joanie- what do you feel are the advantages And disadvantages of 50/50 placement for kids of divorced parents?

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