On Divorce: From Child to Parent

Dear Parents,

As I watch my friends and cousins go through their parents’ divorces, I can’t help but want to share some thoughts and personal experiences from going through my parents’ divorce. If you are thinking about divorce, are getting divorced or are divorced here are some thoughts.

A little bit of background: I was 17 when my parents told my siblings and I that they were getting divorced. I am the oldest child and so my point-of-view comes from that stand point. I cannot speak for my brother and sister, but I can speak of what I observed them going through. What I say below are personal experiences and things I wish my parents knew.

1) When you tell your child that you and your spouse are separating, they will feel like their world is coming apart at the seams. They will feel betrayed and angry. They will have feelings they may or may not want to talk about. Acknowledge these emotions, let your children feel how they feel.

2) After you tell your children they may not want to be around you. Let your children go to an impartial friend’s or relative’s house. It is important that they have someone who is only focused on them and have no ties to divorce. After my parents told my sister and I, we left and went to our grandmother’s house. In hindsight, this may not have been the best call. She was not impartial, to say the least.

3) Find someone who your child can talk to. Once again let me reiterate…someone who is not taking sides in the divorce is critical. They need someone who is there for them and them only.

4) Let your children’s teachers know. They can be apart of your child’s support system. I remember telling my science teacher before I had told anyone else, she let me share feelings, looked me straight in the eye and said “I am here for you and no one else. I am here just for you and I won’t take sides.” I had amazing teachers that year, they backed me up and supported me through anything. It would have been a much harder year without them.

5) Whatever you do, do not talk bad about your ex-spouse in front of your kids. Remember they still love the other person even if you don’t. They are not your support system, you are theirs. Find a friend or a professional to talk to. Do not say mean things about the other parent in front of the kids. Period.

These are only guidelines, and each child’s needs are completely different. These are just things that I wish I and my parents had known from the start. I only hope my experiences may help you and your children.

Eliya

The Storm

The Storm

The Storm 

And so we stand

barefooted, grass below

heads tipped back.

Eyes on the roiling

Purple clouds,

Like we have never seen

the storm

before.

And that much is true.

In this endless moment,

waiting

for clouds to crack

open,

waiting for raindrops to disperse

the tension,

We haven’t.

And so we wait,

barefoot,

heads tipped back,

Waiting for the next storm to break.

 

Cairns

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Not all curves…
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So many rocks

There is nothing quite as calming as balancing a stack of rocks. These particular Cairns were built under the shade of a cliff in the Dark Canyon Wilderness of Utah, on a half day solo. Each cairn aims to play with structure, texture, shape, size and color. These are some of my personal favorites.

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Breath
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Smallest to Largest
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From below

 

Pinacates

Pinacates

Moonrise in the Pinacates After leaving the Ejido, the group traveled down the cost of Mexico, stopping in Puerto Penasco and then on to The El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve is based in Sonora, Mexico and holds hundreds of leftover geological remains from volcanos, including huge craters such as Crater Elegante, pictured below.

Crater Elegante in the Pinacate Volcanic Range , Sonora MexicoSunset in the Pinacates