Nothing can prepare you to be 1/2 Parents and it doesn’t matter what you do, you cannot make up the other 1/2.
Children need both parents and both examples whether good or bad. Children are free to make choices and we mold those decisions at a very early age. My question is when do they need to be held responsible for making bad choices and not blame their other parent? At what point are children liable for their behavior? Depending on the parents, some NEVER have consequences and are still protected even when they have children of their own. Some learn at a young age to be held a accountable for what they do, say and how they treat others. Some have to learn in their teen years when their parents realize the effects of their previous leniency. In any of these circumstances, one thing holds constant – we are developing our children’s character, how they handle relationships, how they accept when they are in the wrong and how they treat others.
We have so many mental issues these days and some of these develop very early on. Some are hereditary and some develop later in life due to circumstances. What are you, as a parent, doing to make a change? Are you teaching kindness through your actions? Are you blaming your child’s behavior on their surroundings or others? Are you allowing your child to treat you poorly? Are you teaching grace and gratitude? Do you recognize anxiety in your child? Do you understand depression? How self-aware are you? What are you contributing to your child’s behavior?
These are heavy and I don’t take my role lightly. I make mistakes daily and sometimes I have to apologize for those to our children. But – my intent is to make sure they are an asset to society and leave their mark in a positive way. Our children are still young and very impressionable and they have lots of influences.
Keep in mind when you get a divorce and share custody – you share the right to mold your children. You may have been with your children every minute of every day and after divorce you find that they are gone 1/2 the time. They have more influences and you can just pray they are positive.
Sometimes I think I could have put up with my ex longer to allow our children to not have 1/2 parents and I could have controlled their environment better until they were older. I have even apologized to our babies for making their life more difficult than it already was. But, our girls and I have discussed this and without these circumstances, they wouldn’t be who they are today. They wouldn’t have a mother who is strong, confident, self-aware and independent. They wouldn’t have bonus parents that give them love in new ways that add value to their character. They wouldn’t have my full attention due to my worry about my ex and his diseases. They wouldn’t understand how to process stress and manage change as well. They have so many qualities I adore and know they will value some day.
Today I still struggle with being a 1/2 parent, but I am so grateful for our girls’ resilience and strength. I love their characters (even when I see the challenges of my ex coming through). At least now I can recognize them and work to correct it. I will hold them accountable because that is the only way they will learn and grow into beautiful people on the inside as well.