Divorced parents play a lot of games…unfortunately, it's their children who are caught in the crossfire. Dr. Robin says if you are a divorced parent, it's important that you stop being competitive with your ex, because it's hurting your children.
Are you so insecure that when your children visit with your ex, you find yourself feeling sad? Dr. Robin says your children can sense that, and it is causing them to feel guilt. So many children of divorce "have to decide and assess on their own just how fragile you are," Dr. Robin says. "And they make an assessment as to whether or not they can really show their joy or their excitement [about the other parent]…or if they've got to dilute it—if they've got to minimize it and shrink their feelings just to keep you feeling comfortable."
Dr. Robin says it's imperative that you put an end to your own ego—the part of you that is more invested in your own personal comfort than in your child's well-being. "[Manage] your feelings so that your children are not carrying the brunt or the burden of emotions that simply don't belong in their minds, in their hearts," Dr. Robin says.
"Create an emotionally stable and healthy child who understands that just because a divorce happened doesn't mean that they have to divorce themselves from their ability to brilliantly and brightly embrace their love for both their mother and their father," Dr. Robin says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, December 6, 2013