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Coping with Divorce with a Teenage Daughter

I left work early yesterday to go see the child psychologist by myself. The therapist agreed that there was no need to bring my daughter but rather she and I could work on various strategies for situations where I feel out of control with jer. I left her office feeling like I have yet another person on my side. My family has always gotten on me because I don’t punish my kids. While the therapist and I discussed the meaning of disciplining. She said it is to teach. So with that in mind, I discuss what my daughter has done that needs disciplining. We talked about my daughters lying and determined that she lies for status placement. It is very common in preteen girls especially ones from a divorce. They are trying to find out where they fit. She went on to further point out that since her dad is out on disability and I work full time, she is different from her friends, whose dads all work. The therapist feels that having a discussion with my daughter about this rather than sending her to her room would probably get better results. She asked what else my daughter was doing and I told her I felt she disrespects me in front of her peers but when we are alone my daughter always explains she doesn’t want her friends to know she likes me or thinks I dress nice or look pretty. The therapist said then you need to teach her to be sullen. This will be something I must reinforce if she has nothing nice to say, say nothing. Lastly we discussed control. I explained that I have cried a lot over the past few years and felt overwhelmed and haven’t made the best decisions in certain situations. The therapist said that my daughter is reacting to me. If I don’t have control, she will take it whether or not she really wants it. The therapist told me it is very important that I maintain control in all situations that the kids see me in. The worst thing I can do is cry over spilled milk so to speak. Obviously if there is a death in the family or a major crisis crying is acceptable but other than that I need to stay calm and in control. 

I have noticed the happier I am the happier the kids are. The less I complain about mundane things the less stressed my kids are. I have to keep in mind it is never too late, my kids are still young enough to be ok from my divorce. If they can see how happy I am they will know that I needed to leave their dad on that reason alone. I am letting my playful side come out slowly as to not freak myself out too much. I hope as I let myself become more comfortable being relaxed and not so uptight I will be more fun to be around. I know my kids love doing stuff with me and we will continue to spend fun weekends together but I will make sure I am more laid back. I may take them skiing this weekend and we enjoy doing that together. I can enjoy watching them ski down the mountain knowing I gave them lessons when they were younger and have benefited from that. My daughter is not cautious and my son is, yet they both get down the mountain and feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I remember when I was younger and being able to ski any trail was awesome. My kids have learned to woods ski which is called glade skiing at the mountains. That takes an enormous amount of confidence and I have watched them go from beginner glades to expert. I am as proud of them as they are. I still have trouble in the expert glades and prefer the beginner but I will take on the expert just to keep them smiling that they have a mom that can get through them! I look forward to them smiling more often because I have become a better mom.

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