Mommy Monday is a new segment on ABC 13 News at 5. Danner Evans will be digging deep into parenting topics and getting you advice on some of the things you face every day raising kids.
Lynchburg, VA - Unfortunately, one thing 50 % of couples will face is divorce. One study finds that for kids, divorce can be more psychologically disruptive than a parent's death, so we're finding out how you, as parents, can make the situation better.
Randi Agri and her son Steven have always been close. So when she ended her 11-year marriage to his father, she vowed to make it an easy transition.
"I never wanted my son to be in the middle of a terrible divorce," Agri said.
A year after her divorce, she remarried and moved into a new house. But four years later she divorced again.
"I said, 'I don't know what I'm gonna do and how I'm gonna afford this house,' and he was like, 'Well, I'll help you,'" Agri said.
He, Steven's father, offered to help pay rent. So six years after their split, her ex moved in. That meant a lot of compromise and communication.
That's something Norma White, with Lynchburg's Couples and Kids, said a lot of parents don't do.
"Parents have got to learn how to have a co-parenting relationship," White said.
White suggested that you not to use your child as the go between. Communicate directly about things like pick up times and your children's needs. Also, never bad mouth your ex.
"They can't say the terrible things they sometimes want to say about the other because children understand that they are part of both parents," White explained. " It's like stabbing the child in the heart. It is so, so painful for the child to hear the negative things about the other parent."
So be the adult, heal your past and White said your children will thrive.
"The children are much happier, they learn to grieve the end of the relationship but they have new relationships and they are much healthier and happier children," White said. "They go to school, they perform, they live normal lives."
Let's face it, this is a complicated thing to pull off. There are actual classes you can take through Couples and Kids to help you cope. Find out more by calling 434-316-9339 or visiting their website.
If you have some ideas for Mommy Monday, email Danner Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.