I wonder how many people would openly and honestly admit behind the secrecy of sound proof doors the day to day struggles of their post divorce parenting experiences..i wonder how many post divorcees would be honest enough to raise their hand in a safe group setting when asked by a show of hands, how many people suffer from this real combative behavioral circumstance..
I stumbled upon an article the other day while I was scrolling through facebook that got me thinking about my own personal situations and the hardship alone that have come with parenting, especially a teenager..even in the healthiest of together families this momentary phenomenon is quite the inevitable show down of hostility and emotions from time to time..
now, add into the shit mix a set of divorced parents who cant stand each other having very different views, making it nearly impossible to ever see eye to eye on anything..it can be at times the most combative experience leaving you at complete odds and making one of the parents the ODD ONE OUT by design..
I really believe these pre “adult” children need more parenting now than they did as infants and toddlers just in a completely different capacity..shit, looking back that was actually a walk in the park compared to what we have to deal with now a days..i see people with infants complaining about how hard it is and I think to myself, OHHH just wait..
lets be real, those sleepless nights are nothing compared to the worry, hostility and anxiety that can mentally and emotionally take you down..it can rains havoc on the whole family if you allow it and its frustrating as fuck to see someone you love temporarily vanish before your eyes as they stand in front of you..
they display no boundaries and have no remorse for the things that explode out of their mouths, looking at you dumbfounded by your reaction..seriously!their hormones alone are like a firing squad of attacks and assaults of untethered emotions that are all over the place never knowing when you will be bashed for simply being their parent..i remember quite well being a teenager!
the problem I have comes when the counter parent thing happens as a means to undermine and still control you post divorce..by design the combative parent will behave and appear to be their martyr making you in return looking like a complete asshole..these are strategic tactics to lessen your authority, value and worth as a parent causing and creating more hardship for the child actually than necessary..
teenagers believe in their under developed brain they are obsolete to consequences and will do whatever they can (lie, cheat, and manipulate) in order to get their way..I see so may teenagers who feel empowered through entitlement, running and operating the home like a boss..when a parent enables all this kind of horrible behavior (out their own fears) it overthrows your own authority, basically having no resect for you what so ever!
this generation in particular has an overzealous ego that is saturated in taking selfies and behaving narcissistic, never being held to a healthy standard of accountability..some parents go as far as engaging while turning a blind eye because they don’t want to be the parent and prefer to be their “friend”..our children desperately need our parenting now more than ever, look at the mental health statistics and see for yourself..it’s no joke as you roll your eyes at me..
even though some might believe and feel I know tidily squat about parenting a teenager from a divorce advantage, what I know for sure and learned from my own traumatic post divorce combative counter parenting is this:
- establish strong boundaries..this creates a safe space for you to not have to participate in the emotional rollercoaster the other parent wishes to take you for a ride on..this also is important with your teenager too!
- minimize your contact with your ex spouce..there is no need anymore for chatter and an opening for unsolicited dialog.. never use your child as a messenger, it is not their job..
- remain calm..(nearly impossible for me) even if your being poked and provoked to engage in the combat, take a deep long breath and try your hardest to disconnect..you have no emotional obligation to bat shit crazy anymore..
- don’t feel sorry for your child (you read that right)..you never want to raise your child as a victim because it prevents them from learning and establishing health viable survival techniques..they learn from you how to cope so setting healthy examples by using positive tools will give them the skills and the advantage of loving healthy relationships later on in life..
- give your teenager boundaries and structure regardless of the teenage tantrum of slamming doors and screaming..they will thank you later and respect you more than ever by loving them enough to be a strong parent..you might have to wait until the terrible teenage years are over, just sayen..
- be a role model..mean what you say, say what you mean and ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH..have integrity, honesty, morals, values, ethics, healthy loving relationships..be that loving positive example (they look up to you) so they have a better chance at a loving normal life regardless of how fucked up your divorce was..
- find a good therapist..part of the problem is thinking you can manage on your own..that is where you are wrong..even the best families struggle and need an outside perspective to help navigate and guide you through todays times..its a whole other world out there now a days..
- lastly, take care of YOU..make sure you are of healthy mind body and spirit..find a healthy outlet that allows you to continue to grow and blossom in your own life..your children are not responsible for your happiness and to occupy your time..that is your own requirement to fulfill, not theirs..your ultimate job is to teach by design how to be a strong flexible honest truthful dedicated compassionate beautiful kind loving loyal trustworthy stand up kind of human being..if you cant be all that within yourself, what are YOU really teaching them in the end..peace love faith hope <3 <3 <3