Dear Parents Who Are Separated
Earlier I was sitting inside a Chick-fil-A restaurant with two of my boys. Across from me nearest the playground area was this young couple who were clearly still in the honeymoon phase of dating. They had 3 little kids with them in the play area that didn’t appear to be their own. Mainly because they reminded me of two 15 year olds that barely recognized any of them. They kept flirting as if they were sitting at home alone on their couch.
Finally, it came time to leave and they began to gather up the kids all under the age of 6. Suddenly, the youngest who was maybe 3 years old screams out in tears. “But, mommy, I want to go home with daddy.” The mom very sternly said, “Well you can’t and if you say it again I’m going to tear your behind up!” She then slings the child into a chair to put her shoes on with zero emotion. At least nothing that showed the little girl’s tears bothered her. It was obvious that the little girl was making a very poor impression upon her date with lover boy and that was momma’s greatest concern.
Then, the obvious dad of the child comes out of the playground area. He had one child in his arms and his daughter being left behind simply begging for him not to leave. The dad didn’t even look her way but kept on walking out. It was at that moment my heart broke. It was obvious that mom and dad still hadn’t reached any point of learning how to communicate. Not even on behalf of the child. Neither said a word to each other or seemed moved by the little girl’s heartfelt cry. You could tell this scene was not new to either of them and the child was still having to be punished for their breakup.
Listen up parents of children who no longer live together. I’m gonna make this short and sweet. Wake up, grow up, and step up. Your children did not cause your marriage to fail. They’ve already been sentenced to separation from living at home with both parents. Don’t keep making decisions that punish them beyond that life sentence.
I realize divorce happens all the time. I’m not saying that you did or did not cause things to fail. However, at this point it’s not all about you. Make the best decisions you can from this day forward with your child’s best interest in mind.
Don’t put lover boy or lover girl before your children. You were that child’s parent before your newest romance. When your kids are already hurting you don’t need to be average, but you need to take an above average approach to making them feel loved and secure. No, you can’t control the other parent’s actions, but you need to do whatever you can to make sure that child doesn’t keep paying due to your selfish and childish behavior.
Take the high road not the low road. Allow them to talk about their feelings but don’t put them in the middle of a continuous heavyweight boxing match. Find a way with God’s help to at least realize your child is on a roller coaster ride they didn’t choose. Act like grownups, not like children. Act like parents not out of revenge. This message is not for you to send to your ex romance. This message is for you to make sure you take time to ask God to examine your heart, your motives, your attitude and your approach to being the best parent you can be for your child.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24