Recently, I’ve heard from a number of married mothers who have been totally caught off guard and completely horrified that their spouse wants a divorce. I remember all too well what that feels like. One mom in particular asked me to write a blog about basic ‘Children Facts’ that new single moms needed to know.
So I thought about my own initial days as a single mother. And here’s what I wish someone would have told me.
Children need residential arrangements that are predictable and specific to each child’s needs. When news comes about an impending divorce, the first thing many want to do is fly to Tahiti with the kids and take them far far away. It’s a proven fact that children do better if you keep them as stable as possible for at least 6 months. That means not moving to another house, state or making rash decisions. They need predictability since everything feels upside down. And remember, each child is unique. Children that are fussier than others or have a more difficult temperate (like one of mine), are more vulnerable to life changes and may need more help in adjusting.
Children should NOT be your best friend. Often it feels good for them to know where you are coming from as you blow off steam. But they don’t need to hear the details nor should you tell them. Find a reliable adult support person to ‘befriend’ and you be the ‘parent’ to the children. Healthy relationships happen when parents reassure their children in positive ways instead of needing the children to reassure them. The healthiest thing you can do for yourself is develop a close relationship with Christ. Friend, He promises to fill every void so you can be free to parent well with freedom and JOY!
Children suffer when the parents put their own hurts above their children’s needs.
Kids get depressed when parents fail to always ask themselves, “What’s best for my kids?” Beware of being guilty of any of the following – (ouch!)
- Asking them to give messages to the other parent when you should do it
- Inquiring the kids about the personal life of the former spouse
- Criticizing the other parent in front of the kids
- Making the kids feel guilty because they just came back from the other parent’s house and had a great time
- Discussing with the kids the problems in the former marriage
- And above all…Just remember this: a good parent puts their needs second
These are only a few. Friend, if you’re in the initial stage of redefining your life as a single parent, take heart. When we yield it ALL to Jesus, He ALWAYS grants exceedingly beyond what we could imagine. God is with you! So press on, sister. There are brighter days ahead.
Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promises is faithful.
About Pam Kanaly
Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.