Friday, April 27, 2007

The Ugly Truth About Divorce

As the most recent story of Alec Baldwin's infamous "pig" phone call to his daughter exemplifies, divorce and custody battles can get really ugly, and the biggest victims are the littlest people: the kids. When going through divorce and custody litigation, it can be so easy to take out the hurt and pain out on the children, saying terrible things to them out of frustration. Should the unfortunate circumstance of divorce happen to you or someone you love, please remember these three things:
1. Have a plan of self-care during divorce. Your limits will be tested, emotions will reach a boiling point, and you will need every ounce of cool-headedness you can muster.
2. The children need to be left out of the divorce; it's the parent's divorce, not theirs. They do not need to know any of the details over money, lawyers, posessions, etc. Talk to the kids about what's going on in their lives, not about what's going on in that of their parents.
3. Kids need to have regular and unrestricted access to both parents (barring, of course, any history of abuse). Whatever feelings one parent may harbor against the other should not in any way be brought to bear upon the child's relationship with that parent. Children naturally love both their parents, and they should not be asked to choose sides. Doing so is unfair to everyone.

If a parent feels unable to do these things, it's important to have someone (friend, clergy person, therapist) to hold him/her accountable, for the children's sake. Sadly, there are more divorced parents out there whose anger has overtaken them and have done terrible things they regret for the rest of their lives.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lack of Postpartum Resources Not Just an American Issue...

as this article from the BBC points out.

Lessons from Virginia Tech

Mental illness can strike anyone at anytime, though onset tends to occur in early adulthood or late adolescence. Often, a person's problems with mental illness come to light when they leave home for the first time, as Mr. Cho's did while he was a student at Virginia Tech. His teachers and fellow students were right to reach out to him with concerns about his writing and other behaviors. And while some who experience suicidal or homocidal thoughts do act on them, many do not. No one is omniscient; it is impossible to sort out who will harm themselves and others, and who won't. The best we can do is to continue to reach out to those who are suffering, to continue to invite them to get help, and to alert authorities if there's evidence that someone is in imminent danger of hurting himself or others. For the survivors at Virginia Tech, the best advice I've heard about coping with this tragedy was relayed by a Columbine survivor on the radio: "No one has ever gone through this before, so however you handle it is probably right."

Monday, April 9, 2007

Get out of the House!

One of the biggest challenges of being a stay-at-home parent is coming up with fun outing ideas for you and your young one(s). PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) has compiled this list. While PEPS is Seattle-based, some of their outing ideas might get you thinking about things to do in your town should you not be so fortunate to live in the lovely Puget Sound region. Or better yet, post your great outing ideas in the comments section! Thanks for reading, and now, get out there!