Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Parent to Parent: Divorce
It's a fact, 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. But if you don't live with your kids, it can be tough to feel included. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Sally has advice on how to exist with your ex and stay involved in your child's life.
WSVN--Tony Spalding and his 8-year-old son Asher are big fans of the great outdoors. But their time together is limited because Tony only has partial custody.
Tony Spalding: "We got divorced or we separated when he was a year old or a little less than a year old. So, he has no memory of his mother and me living together, here in this house."
Since the divorce, asher spends four days a week with his father... But for dad, that still doesn't feel like enough.
Tony Spalding: "I have to ask him, ok, what classes do you have, when do you have them, what's going on with your homework. And maybe he's told his mom already and now his dad is asking too."
But 7 parenting expert dr. Sally goldberg says don't give up. The key is communication... Not just with your child, but with your ex.
Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Eventhough you are now divorced, you are still in a relationship with the other parent. You still have to make many decisions with the other parent."
When possible be courteous and respect what the other parent is doing. If you have a difference of opinion, talk about it privately. But don't ever bad mouth your ex.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Don't be negative in front of your children about what your ex-spouse is doing with the children."
It's also important for divorced parents to expand or build new relationships throughout the community.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Make it known to the school that you too need to be informed about meetings, homework or any other issues that are going on in the school."
And set up a note system with your ex to make sure errands get accomplished.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Basically the best thing to do is not be angry about it, not complain about it, pitch in, be positive and do the best you can for where you are."
Both of Asher's parents are trying to do just that... He knows he's lucky to have a caring mother and a wonderful father.
Asher Spalding: "He's a really nice guy, he's really caring."
Tony Spalding: "Hopefully he will learn even just from watching the two of us that we can still talk and work things out."
Dr. Sally says never put your child in the middle of your divorce. Remember, like it or not, as long as you're parents, you'll always have a relationship with your ex. By the way, Tony runs a support group for divorced dads.
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Dr. Sally Goldberg's Website:
Parents Without Partners