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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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When parents divorce and kids are very young Is it better

Resolved Question:

When parents divorce and kids are very young: Is it better for the divorced parents to have a holiday together or part of it, such as, come over and watch the girls open their gifts at Christmas, or should they always maintain separate events? Two girl are almost 2 and 3 and parents share custody. Wife was one who wanted out, wonderful husband who was completely baffled by her actions. Wife is receiving counseling for "issues" from long ago husband was unaware of and came to light, I guess, after birth of 2nd child. Kids are very bright and advanced and loving and happy and caring so far and dad wants this to continue. Frankly, he is better parent than mom and has the home, she left and got apartment. He owned home before marriage and it has nice yard and many backyard toys. He has wonderful sitter 3 days per week when he has kids. Wife has 2 days of daycare place when she has kids. He watches kids his days off and does not know what ex wife to be does since she does not disclose any of her behavior to him. He pays all of kids's bills and medical, etc. Christmas and Thanksgiving will be here and relatives from Florida will be up to see him and kids. What about ex-wife to be? She had a boyfriend , that was disclosed when she left. but have no knowledge if they are still an item. We are always cordial around her in spite of what she did to son. She made remark that she always felt that he was "too good for her" and and they dated for 2 years and were married for 6. Kids enjoy mom and dad always is always respectful to her for them. Should they see parents together having a friendly time or should they learn that parents are not together for good? They are so young and we do not know that they perceive.She broke his heart and she put him through emotional hell. He took the high road and has moved on telling her to get a divorcce or he would file if she didn't. Would not live in unhealthy environment while she was coming and going as she pleased and leaving him without saying where she was going. He suggesged counseling and she said she did not want it. Then, when he told her he wanted to end marriage, she said,what about counseling.? He told her it was tool late and that he had tried and would not put up with her being married and acting single any more. She took half of bank acct. and left and got apartment and was very arrogant about it and would not answer phone or text messages, Refused to talk at all. Now, 5 mos. later, she has changed her tune and is being nice. I think she is running out of money.Sorry I took so long, but wanted to give you some background. He is 39, she is 35.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
Hi Thanks for your question. It is complicated. My answer will have 2 parts.
1. It is best if children see the parents getting along BUT in their new relationship which is co-parenting (a business-like relationship).

2. It is not good for the children to see them interacting as if still married or even very good friends because it will fuel their hopes that parents will get back together. Children always have this wish but why put them on roller coaster of hope and disappointment. So holidays and birthdays are better off separate. Some people try to ease this hurt by saying "Well one good thing is that you will have 2 birthday parties", ect.

Hope this helps clear things up. I know it gets all mixed up in everyone's mind.

Edited by Bonnie on 9/19/2010 at 7:30 PM EST
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