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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 (201-210):
MadLife_Joanie
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I'm sorry that you and your three children have experienced so much pain and sadness.  I've always been a proponent of the idea that you have to "earn" the right to get a divorce.  I don't know the details of your circumstances, but if you have tried counseling and have been working hard at keeping your marriage together for over two years, it may be that it's just not going to happen.  Obviously, therapy isn't going to help if only one partner is truly vested in the process.  Some couples have found that their first marriage counselor wasn't a good fit, and have gone on to find other therapists who have made a difference.  Check with anyone and everyone - friends, relatives, neighbors - who may be able to refer you to a great therapist.  If you have tried your best and see no hope whatsoever, then you and your children should find a counselor to guide you through the process of ending your marriage and starting a new life.  Don't forget to take care of yourself!  J 

Quoting HolisticMama:

I've been going through the divorce process for almost two years.  When we seperated our kids were 6, 4 and 1 years old.  I didn't want to give them unnecessary details and was trying to protect them from their father's ugly side.  I just told them we could no longer get along and we would be happier in seperate homes.  The kids were obviously devastated.  Since then my now 6 year old tells me he knows his dad is mean to me and that's why we aren't a family.  He also says his dad isn't truthfull and lies to me.  It breaks my heart that he is seeing his dads ugly side at such a young age. 

We still can't get along for the kids sake.  The kids are so young and I don't want this to negatively affect them.  We have tried counseling and it didn't work.  Is there anything else I can do to help him see this isn't good for the kids? 


MSROCKY
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

It can be!  When my parents divorced I was so relieved!  All I can think to myself - what took her so long? (referring to my mother)  However, my sister did not take my parents' divorced so well.  

My ex mother-in-law said when parents stay together for the sake of the kids, the parents are miserable and the kids end up caught in the middle.  

But if the kids are going to be effected by the divorce where it might hurt them mentally - I can see the parents remaining together.  Just as long as the parents can live amicably towards one another where it won't damage the kids...    

MadLife_Joanie
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Well, I think you've got two different issues here.  The first one:  She is rude and disrespectful to others.  Has this become a problem with teachers and others in position of authority?  Does she have difficulties with peer relationships?  I would recommend a book, Have a New Kid by Friday, by Kevin Leman.  He also has a book aimed specifically at teenagers by the same name, just exchange the word Teenager in place of Kid.  You need to get a handle on this behavior ASAP.  If you need help, I would suggest getting your daughter to a therapist.   

The second issue:  Her relationship with her new step-parent.  I am a big believer than the biological parent is the one who provides discipline, not the step-parent.  If your SO takes on the role of a disciplinarian, it will never, ever work.  He is there to provide support to you (in private) and provide your daughter with security, love, and kindness.   There are countless books that you can read with your SO on the role of the step-parent and how to create a great blended family.  Get reading (can't help it....it's the English teacher in me) and all the best to you!  J

Quoting jessicasmom1:

How does one get a child to respect a soon to be step parent? She is soon to be 13 years old and SO been in our life for 2 years when she starts to get to know a person she gets mouthy to them.


ricepuddin
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Yes! If the relationship is dangerous/toxic to the children, then divorce works great! It did for mine.  Toxic relationships teach the kids that it is status quo to violate your spouse and/or society.  Take the time to talk your kids through all the phases of divorce, honestly, not in shrink-terms, make it clear to them that in time they will unederstand better what is going on and that you have their safety and well-being at heart in making this decision, but that in no way are they the reason of the break-up, more like the beneficiaries of the break-up.  Work with a child psychologist for a time to transition them safely into their new lives and actively watch their development and be there at every step of the way for them.

GraceStrickland
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

If parents are going to get divorced it is important that they are realistic about the impact it has on kids.  A "good" divorce where the child is told they are loved will still hurt the children.  All divorced will hurt the children, so don't justify yourself by saying it's better. However, in a situation where one or both parents are unwilling to put out the neccesary effort, or there is abuse, infidelity, etc, often a divorce is "better than..."

No judgements on divorced couples, but your kids aren't going to throw a party, they will be sad.

jessicasmom1
by Silver Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Thank you for the suggestions no she is not rude to anyone else . I will check out the books. I agree the biological parent does the  discipline.

Quoting MadLife_Joanie:

Well, I think you've got two different issues here.  The first one:  She is rude and disrespectful to others.  Has this become a problem with teachers and others in position of authority?  Does she have difficulties with peer relationships?  I would recommend a book, Have a New Kid by Friday, by Kevin Leman.  He also has a book aimed specifically at teenagers by the same name, just exchange the word Teenager in place of Kid.  You need to get a handle on this behavior ASAP.  If you need help, I would suggest getting your daughter to a therapist.   

The second issue:  Her relationship with her new step-parent.  I am a big believer than the biological parent is the one who provides discipline, not the step-parent.  If your SO takes on the role of a disciplinarian, it will never, ever work.  He is there to provide support to you (in private) and provide your daughter with security, love, and kindness.   There are countless books that you can read with your SO on the role of the step-parent and how to create a great blended family.  Get reading (can't help it....it's the English teacher in me) and all the best to you!  J

Quoting jessicasmom1:

How does one get a child to respect a soon to be step parent? She is soon to be 13 years old and SO been in our life for 2 years when she starts to get to know a person she gets mouthy to them.



wintersdaughter
by New Member on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

I think that divorce was a good thing for at least one of my two kids.  My youngest was abused by his father as a small child.  My question is this,  How can I help to increase the working relationship to help raise the children, without hurting the kids more?   and also How can we help the kids when one parent tries to use the kids against the other parent?

GoddessBaker
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Yes I believe it can. I was 11 and begged my mom to leave my dad, after several years of her trying to...I was what gave her the strength. Life was miserable with both of them in the house together. My dad was not a nice man.

honeydewdid
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Yes divorce can be good for your kids.
If you and your spouse can't act like a happily married couple (because you're not) then your not showing your kids what they should be looking for in a relationship. Every single thing you do, your kids takes in.

In my experience, me and my (now ex-)husband decided to have a baby. During the pregnancy I was blinded by my love for him and did not notice how much he was not there for me. When our son was born he had a migraine every day. There was no more affection, only distant small talk and a lot of busy work. He would make small complaints about everything I ever asked him to and I was recovering from a c section. He had to go to Korea for duty when our son was 6 weeks old. He was always to busy to talk, never asked how we were doing, and tried to say I didn't understand. Hello, I had just gotten out of the service myself. He met someone and asked for a divorce. I was devastated at first but then I started to see how awful of a husband he was.

Moral of the story, because of the divorce I was given the opportunity to meet someone who would be a better husband and a great father figure to my son. I know for a fact that he will provide us a happier life than my ex husband would have and because of this I am grateful for the divorce. 

MadLife_Joanie
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM

You are more than welcome!  Sounds like you don't have too much of a problem with your daughter then, if she's interacting well with teachers, friends, etc.  So glad for you.  Sending good thoughts your way.  J

Quoting jessicasmom1:

Thank you for the suggestions no she is not rude to anyone else . I will check out the books. I agree the biological parent does the  discipline.

Quoting MadLife_Joanie:

Well, I think you've got two different issues here.  The first one:  She is rude and disrespectful to others.  Has this become a problem with teachers and others in position of authority?  Does she have difficulties with peer relationships?  I would recommend a book, Have a New Kid by Friday, by Kevin Leman.  He also has a book aimed specifically at teenagers by the same name, just exchange the word Teenager in place of Kid.  You need to get a handle on this behavior ASAP.  If you need help, I would suggest getting your daughter to a therapist.   

The second issue:  Her relationship with her new step-parent.  I am a big believer than the biological parent is the one who provides discipline, not the step-parent.  If your SO takes on the role of a disciplinarian, it will never, ever work.  He is there to provide support to you (in private) and provide your daughter with security, love, and kindness.   There are countless books that you can read with your SO on the role of the step-parent and how to create a great blended family.  Get reading (can't help it....it's the English teacher in me) and all the best to you!  J

Quoting jessicasmom1:

How does one get a child to respect a soon to be step parent? She is soon to be 13 years old and SO been in our life for 2 years when she starts to get to know a person she gets mouthy to them.




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