Episode 5: Are Divorced Parents Still a Family?

Today I’m discussing how to answer the question that a lot of families roll around in their minds: Are divorced parents still a family?

No one goes into a marriage thinking about divorce. According to the American Psychological Association, almost 90% of people in Western cultures get married. 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Even though it is common, divorce is one of the most stressful life events. No wonder there is so much confusion about whether a divorced family is still a family.

 

In this episode, we talk about…

[1:31] Confusion and stressors related to divorce

There’s a lot of confusion. When people go through highly stressful or traumatic events, our brains cope that way. Nothing is the way it was. Everything has changed. Here are some of the potential stressors:

  • Custody and visitation
  • New living quarters
  • School schedules
  • Work schedules
  • Money issues
  • Shifting friendships
  • Shifting family relationships

There are tremendous shifts that occur in the lives of everyone involved in a divorce.

 

[2:00] What we consider family

So then we wonder, are divorced parents still a family? Well, what do we consider family? Are we there for our kids?

No matter what, are we providing them with a place to go home? Do we make it through hard times together? Do we heal through tears? It might be impossible to have a working, co-parenting relationship with your ex or you might have an adult mutual understanding. Either way, your kids will want to consider both parents as parents.

No matter if you’re in two houses or one, the experts at Solo Parent Magazine would say that all families are families, no matter what shape our families look like. 

 

[2:36] Thinking of generational goals

Even if we all don’t get along; even if we can’t sit on the same bleacher at the softball game or bear to wave at one another at graduation, our kids need us to be there for them.

No matter where our heads are at, we owe them. They will remember it when they begin their own family stories. So if you can try to think big, try to think generationally, try to think of the legacy that you will leave your family, it might provide some goals to work for. Acceptance of the way things are is a good start.

Being there for your kids is another good start. It’s not easy, but it’s important. You can’t control your ex’s life and you can’t go back in time, but you can set an intention to work for peace – if only for your own peace and a peaceful place for your kids to come home. 

Check out soloparentmag.com for more articles about family life after divorce. We want to be a resource for you because your family matters.

We might be solo, but we’re not alone. 

 

Website: https://www.soloparentmag.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soloparentpodcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soloparentnation

About author

Joly Herman

Editor-In Chief, Founder, and CEO of Solo Parent Magazine, Joly Herman is a writer and educator, who has been writing professionally for print and web publications since 1998. She was among the first television review editors at Common Sense Media, where she also served as a movie, DVD and book reviewer from 2004 to 2014. Having earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan, Joly was a recipient of the Rackham Fellowship and taught undergraduate Creative Writing. She is a Montessori Primary Teacher who has headed classrooms in San Francisco, Kansas City, Berlin and Düsseldorf, Germany. An advocate for healthy children and healthy families, Joly founded Solo Parent, LLC in 2014 to promote the vision that all families be viewed as normal, that all families be seen as whole.

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