Thursday, July 28, 2011

Children in the middle of a divorce

Tiffiany


Question: Hi Kay,

My mother had written you shortly ago in reference to my 3 1/2 year old daughter pooping behind the chair. Your advice was great and she no longer acts out in that behavior, Thank you!!

However this is still a really difficult time for us and I am a mother desperate to know what to do often. My husbands' family, with whom he is currently living with, and I have very different ideas of raising my two daughters which is a constant battle and stress and it has only gotten worse since the separation.

What i am dealing with currently is my mother in law wants my oldest to sleep over at night but this concerns me. I have worked very hard at helping my oldest share her time with her younger sister and they seem to have a balance.

Sometimes there is jealousy but Aubrey is learning to share her life with her sister. I am afraid at this delicate point in her life that she will be quickly reminded of how life was "all about her" pre little sister and I am afraid that it will cause more feelings of frustration.

What do you think?

Thank you again,

Tiffiany


Answer: Dear Tiffiany:

I am glad your little one is doing better and the advice helped you both.

I don't see a problem with her spending the night if your only concern is about her focusing on herself. I would wonder why the grandparent doesn't offer to take both at the same time. Not a big deal just wondering.

As far as the differences in parenting styles. You may request certain things of the in laws such as preferences for food choices, bedtimes etc...however the bottom line is you really have no control over what happens when the children are not with you.

I would like to reassure you that children adapt. They become use to two sets of rules. They have to adapt when they go to school, church, other families, other friends etc.... In other words, they learn there are different expectations based upon circumstances and situations.

However, always trust your own instincts. You are the mother and you know your children better than anyone else. Even though I have training, education, knowledge and my own experience as a parent, even so, my advice is based upon generalizations.

You will remain the expert on your own children. Do trust your own mothering instincts!

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller