With her permission, I shared this with her mother, who, of course, was shocked.
Research shows when a parent takes the time to listen to a child’s difficulties (in general, but especially after divorce), the child feels supported and is more able to view the divorce as something that was necessary rather than as a huge obstacle in life.
I have a memory of walking down the street with my mother, around the age of five, thinking about a conversation I’d had with some other children in the schoolyard a few days earlier.
I find the best way to handle the situation is to take a position of friendliness. As a parent, your job is to provide your child with love, stable routines, and discipline. Just as spoiling your child may send a message that you do not care, the other extreme is equally nonconstructive.In fact, being more mindful of feelings of warmth and love may provide stress relief and serve as a welcome break from crossing off items on a long to-do list.Connecting with our loved ones is one of the joys of life, after all. Don’t “compensate” for this rough time by spoiling your child.What is more likely to lead to improvement is a listening ear and the setting of gentle, understandable limits.When a new family structure is introduced, all involved are likely to feel the impact.