Parenting with an Ex: The Pro-Child Way Weighed Against Anger

Yesterday the question was posed to me by a lawyer, When warring parents are seeking a divorce, is it useful to introduce the Pro-Child way?

While I wanted to exclaim, Sure!  My answer was more authentic: I don't know.

I don't understand why a parent abuses their child, whether physically or emotionally.  I don't understand why a parent continuously berates their child's other parent.  I don't understand why a parent's anger towards life outweighs the love for his/her child.  I see these parents everywhere.  And, to this lawyer, she sees them at their worst.

Is it you?  Are you the parent that scoffs at the Pro-Child way?  What is your excuse?  I've heard some of them, and they usually start with the sentence: My ex is a #%@! and usually ends with You've had it easier than me.

To this, I always wonder, So, if you're ex wasn't such a #!@%, you'd be a better parent? Why does your ex get to determine what kind of parent you are?  At what point did you decide that his/her offenses tipped the scales away from the love of your child?

I know divorce sucks.  It was awful my first time around, and I certainly didn't get remarried hoping to experience it again.  But, it happened.  If I were to experience divorce again and again, at what point would my scale tip away from the Pro-Child way and instead become weighted down by anger?  How monstrous would my ex have to be for me to justify screaming what a #$!% he is when our daughters can hear me?  Knowing that other parents have crossed this line, makes me even more aware that it could exist.

For me, it helps to have a benchmark: courageous individuals from whom I can draw inspiration.  Heroes who have persevered in the face of great adversity.  While they don't erase the very real situations that I have faced as a divorced parent, by thinking of these people, I stay grounded. 

I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.  Anne Frank

You choose how to live. A mother on Home Extreme Makeover who lost her son in an auto accident

They know not what they do. Jesus on the cross

If these individuals were able to go on without anger overwhelming their soul, I can too.  Even on the worst of my divorced parenting days, I am thankful that I don't have to bear what these others have faced.  How about you?  How does the divorced situation that you're facing measure up against these benchmarks?

Take another look at your child.  Every time your anger spills out, it is your child that is the receiver.  You're driving your child to the doorstep of child-of-divorce statistics: suicide, drop-out, inability to have loving relationships, teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and more.  With each hate-filled comment you make, your child gets more afraid, more distrusting, more un-loved, more unworthy.  I know that the love for my children far outweighs any hate that I may have towards my exes.  And I will heap love, security, patience, kindness, and gentleness onto them in every possible way, welcoming any new idea that promises a path away from the statistics.

So to those anger-centric parents: I don't know when you'll be ready, but I'm here; standing next to your child, waiting for the moment that anger releases its blinding grip and you glimpse the Pro-Child way.

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Relates to <b>Words of Encouragement: Know when you need help - lawyers, police, and mediators</b>, The Pro-Child Way: Parenting with an Ex, Ellen Kellner, all rights reserved.

 

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