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  • Summer Mulder

A hard but necessary question...

My parents have been married 54 years. I personally didn’t have the experience of being raised in two different homes. I had one home with a mother and father that loved each other fiercely and still do. 



My parents have been married 54 years. I personally didn’t have the experience of being raised in two different homes. I had one home with a mother and father that loved each other fiercely and still do. 


Did they fight? Yes.

Did my mom give my dad the silent treatment at times? Yes.

Did they slam doors when their emotions got the best of them? Oh yes.


And then they would apologize and discuss what went wrong and how they could do better. They brought me into the conversation so that I could see them take responsibility for their behavior. Genius.


I am so grateful to have been raised with parents that showed their real human side and were always willing to learn and grow together.

But, many children today have a very different experience. Their parents are divorced and for most, they don’t get along. Oftentimes they feel they are being leveraged between their parents. It’s an insecure and confusing feeling. While I haven’t experienced myself, I’ve seen it first hand in our own blended family.


What pains me most is the struggle children go through and more often than not, it’s because the parents have let ego, differences of opinion and anger from the past overpower the life experience their children could have.


If I were a child of divorce, here is what I would want:


I’d want my parents to get along. They don’t have to be best friends, but they would respect each other even if it means they disagree. 


I’d want to feel safe in knowing that no matter what I am loved by both of them.


I’d want them to keep their money issues and legal issues to themselves so that I could worry about other things like my school work, my friends, my chores, my crushes and what I should wear tomorrow.


I’d want to know that I can count on them to handle real life situations because I would see them handle it maturely.


I’d want them to get along with my mom or dad’s new partner.


I’d want my step dad or mom to be kind and loving, but not try to be my new mom or dad. Just be there for me and make me feel wanted.


I’d want my space to be respected if I have to share that space with step siblings. 


I’d want to have alone time with each of my parents where it could be just the two of us.


I’d want to know that I had a team of people who supported me and loved me and that these adults supported each other in giving that to me. 


This is what I would want if my parents chose to not be together and so it’s what I aim to give to our children.


It’s probably the intention of most parents and yet it doesn’t always play out that way. It’s easier to blame the other parent when something goes wrong. It’s easier to compete and try to be the better parent with the better parenting style or the more fun parent. 


Instead of lifting the other parent, they get ridiculed and insulted.


As a parent, put yourself in your child’s shoes. 


Would you want you as a parent?


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