Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

There is an need to elevate awareness to what the true danger of divorce really is. It is not the divorce itself, but the outrageously bad behavior of either one or both parents whose sole responsibility should be to protect their children. However, sadly, divorce is a pathetic excuse for some adults to convince themselves that bad parenting is simply a normal part of the divorce landscape.

It is not. There is never an excuse for bad behavior especially when it comes to parenting. As it is, divorcing parents have already displayed enough bad behavior while they hit the rough spot that eventually landed them in this situation. This means that divorce should become the opportunity to begin to correct that.

The true reality of divorce is that it simply becomes an extension of the marital problems which existed in the first place. Even sadder? Money becomes a primary obsession in divorce when children should always be primary in the life of a parent.

There are clues in the behavior of a weak parent. A weak parent spends more time talking about money than the welfare of their children. A weak parent blames the spouse for the divorce and says that’s why the children are suffering. A weak parent needs the children to agree with them. A weak parent undermines their spouse and uses and confuses the children. A weak parent bullies their spouse. A weak parent continues to need to be right rather than do what is right for their children.

The 12 characteristics that differentiate the strong and the weak parents:

A strong parent accepts responsibility for the failure of their marriage. They acknowledge that they didn’t put the necessary time and work into the relationship, that they married the wrong person, etc. A strong parent doesn’t exact revenge on their spouse because they not only know that will hurt their children, but they understand the role they played in the demise of the relationship.

A strong parent does not use and confuse their children in order to control and/or bully their spouse. A strong parent does not use manipulation as a tool for their own need to control or punish the spouse they are divorcing.

A strong parent does not use money to control and/or bully their spouse. A strong parent does not use money as a tool for their own need to control or punish the spouse they are divorcing.

A strong parent does not use the court system as a glorified stage for continuing marital conflict. A strong parent realizes that elongated divorce equals elongated pain for their children.

A strong parent continues to accept physical, emotional and financial responsibility for their children. They do not use divorce as an excuse to no longer regularly spend time with their children, insure the children and their health or abandon them financially.

A strong parent makes their children more important than money. They do not lower their income, quit their job or declare bankruptcy as a means of getting the most they can gain financially from divorce. A strong parent acknowledges the weakness of the law which allows them legal license to financially abandon their children at the age of 18. A strong parent realizes that the days of marrying, getting a job or going off to serve our Country at an early age is less common than going off to college. A strong parent realizes that in fact, children can incur the most expense during the four years after they turn eighteen during the college years.

A strong parent does not undermine the other spouse in divorce simply because of conflict and anger. A strong parent never loses sight of the fact that their children must come first. A strong parent maintains what is in the best interest of their children thriving rather than contradicting the parenting of the divorcing spouse. A strong parent realizes that children need continuity and structure regardless of divorce AND especially in divorce.

A strong parent reinforces the need for respect despite the possibility of bad behavior in a divorcing spouse. A strong parent acknowledges a spouses bad behavior if necessary, but they reinforce that despite the bad behavior a certain level of respect from their children is still expected.

A strong parent reinforces that despite the bad behavior they may have displayed trying to get out of a bad situation that kids should always love both parents. A strong parent acknowledges arguments, yelling, staying too long, etc. and they try and soften that reality by moving forward with a message to love both parents despite the mistakes they made because a strong parent is mature enough to know that children want to love both parents. Children do not want to feel conflicted over their love for a parent.

A strong parent provides continuity for their children with home life staying as close to what they are used to. A strong parent acknowledges that remaining in their home if at all possible is best for their children during the significant loss of another parent.

A strong parent gets the counseling that they need and the counseling that their children need to transition through this emotionally difficult time. A strong parent shows up in the emotional well being of their children.

A strong parent does the right thing despite conflict with their spouse. A strong parent moves forward after divorce.
They don’t continue to play games via the court, children, finances, etc. A strong parent allows their children the opportunity to heal rather than stay trapped in the same unhealthy marital conflict they needed to be freed from to begin with.
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