Today some adults are discovering that the single parent role is one of choice, and not of a transitional phase between partners or marriages. Single parent families are different than nuclear two-parent families in that there is only one care-taking parent in each home, who operates with fewer resources and often less income. The demands and challenges placed on single parents and their children can make this family unit more supportive of each other and close knit. If you as leader of a single parent family maintain a positive attitude toward the future, viewing it as an unknown but welcome surprise, your children will find life exciting and full of promise. On the other hand, if you feel that separation and divorce confer a sense of shame and embarrassment, it is likely that the children will see themselves as less well-off than two parent families. Click here for an article on staying positive as you rebuild after divorce
During the process of exploring your own identity, your children can learn not only to support you, but also to share in your new experiences with you. You may find that your children are proud to have a parent who is capable of maintaining a single household, who is also interesting and adventurous to be with as a person. Of course there will be times when the burdens and responsibilities get you down, and when you resent the demands that your children place upon you. If this happens, take some time out. Get emotional support from your friends and your family. Do something fun that does not involve the children. Click here for a video with some great tips for how to stay positive after divorce.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/.
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