On my way to work I was listening to the radio and of course the latest in the rumor mill is that Will and Jada Smith are getting a divorce. I am still on the fence about my belief towards this but at first I thought it was just that… a rumor. However with this still being very evident in the Hollywood gossip news I’m starting to think (sadly) there may be some truth to it. Now the latest is they are trying to stay together for the children, so the radio asked a very good question: Do you think its healthy, or right, to stay together for the children? It seems that when gong through a divorce, especially when children are involved the adults seem to think its best for them to stay to cause less confusion in the children.
One thing about a relationship a child or children can not change what is or is not there. I have seen women have children to try to keep their marriages together, I have seen situations where the woman only kept the child if the man was willing to marry her and I have seen situations where because there is a child involved the couple tries to stick it out and unfortunately the product of those children are not the best. The self esteem seems to be low, the marriages seem to be distant, there is resentment in the kids toward their parent(s), and in some cases children are forced to grow up too fast and latch on the wrong people because they are not getting the attention they deserve.
I think couples look at children as a bond that can never be broken, which is true but if the only thing you two share in common is the child, when do they see you happy? What is healthy about hearing mom and dad argue when I’m trying to sleep? What is healthy about daddy/mommy always out with his/her friends? What is healthy about seeing my parents smile only when they are not in the presence of one another? What is healthy about hearing mommy/daddy complain about how unhappy they are to family and friends? People tend to forget kids are SMART! They know when their parents are hurt or when something is just not right. A child is ALWAYS listening.
Being a product of a single parent I think that it was the healthiest way for me to grow up. I have a great relationship with BOTH of my parents and they have a great friendship with each other. I have seen what it’s like when they argue or get tired of each other, just imagine if they would have stayed together for me, I would have witnessed the arguing and unhappiness on a daily bases which would have probably caused friction in all three of our relationships. It also would have effected my personal relationships as I got older. The most amazing thing about my parents is they have NEVER downed or talked about one another in my presence. My dad tells me how great my mother is and my mother tells me how wonderful my dad is, which is also important. Don’t talk down about the other parent in front of your child, no matter the age. I am 25 now and I would be HURT if I witnessed my parents doing that. Just because the love has faded does not mean that (s)he is not a good parent and you should force your child to feel the same as you feel about that person.
So to answer the question… NO I don’t think it’s healthy to hold on to a marriage (or relationship) for just the sake of the children. I think that’s a selfish act because you not looking at things from the children’s perspective. What’s wrong with sitting down and explain to the children? I know that at some ages it still doesn’t make sense to them but you keep explaining and explaining until they understand. Come to an agreement so the parenting styles and rules wont change. Just make sure equal time is spent and they see you happy and uplifting one another. Show them that just because mommy and daddy are not together anymore they still share a great friendship!