• After a weekend with your

  • Do you scratch your head when your children come home after a weekend with your ex and their behavior doesn't resemble in any way the behavior you expect of them? Does it make you wonder if they've interfaced with aliens while they were gone?

    For the sake of your kids, you need to find out why their change in behavior is so drastic. Is he not getting any discipline when he's away from you? Is he neglected and left to his own devices at your exs? Does your child get left behind if daddy is pursuing a date? Or if he's staying with mommy, is she watching TV or absorbed in a novel while the kid runs rampant? Or is the child indulged to a point beyond spoiling and given everything he wants when he's visiting the ex?

    Your child deserves continuity. Rules ought to be agreed upon by both mom and day and for the sake of the child, they should be the same at both houses. When your children cannot hear the conversation, have a talk with your ex about trying for continuity so that they are benefited. Don't be blaming or making him/her feel guilty. Simply work toward what is best for your child and know that each of you wants that. Talk about each behavior you see that comes home to you in an altered state and communicate with your ex about how to prevent it for the sake of the child's continuity and emotional stability. You ex may not agree with you, but at least you will know that you did address the issue for the sake of your child.After a weekend with your

    Now of course, each household will reflect the persona of the mom or the dad and they cannot be precisely identical for the sake of the child's continuity. You might just have to allow your kid a few hours grace while he adjusts back into your way of doing things when he comes home from your ex's home. You can ease up on them somewhat, because a behavioral change is to be expected; they are still trying to wrap themselves around the divorce idea and that will take some processing on their part. These visits bring up that idea all over again, so be patient and understanding while they adjust to being back at your home again.

    If your ex thinks that allowing your kids to eat junk food, party hearty while they are with him with no consideration for bedtimes, and if your conversations with him about this have been ineffective, then here's a comforting thought that I'd like to leave you with: Eventually (when they mature) your kids will recognize the difference and will applaud you for your value-driven decisions.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    In his book "Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents," Len Stauffenger shares his simple wisdom gleaned from his divorce with his daughters and with you. Len is a Success Coach and an Attorney. You can purchase Len's book and it's accompanying workbook at http://www.wisdomfordivorcedparents.com
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