My Spouse or My Kids?

My Kids or My Spouse?

You married for love. You married forever. But you never expected your marriage would involve having to choose between your new spouse an...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Worn Out!

Are you feeling stretched too thin, worn out, run over, run down, and run out? Join the club! But did you know that even God is concerned about your schedule? Yep. Seems that God is pretty darned serious about you getting some rest. He even made it one of the Big Ten. ... remember "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath day and keep it holy"?

This has never been more important for families than it is today when everything seems to be faster-paced and more urgent.

God understood (probably from looking at the original Blueprints for us) how much we need some down time, not just once or twice a year on vacation, but Every Week! The Sabbath is intended as a Day Off from work and worry; a time for Family to get together and share their lives and their time; a time also to thank God for His gifts and blessings (Hey! It's not just for Thanksgiving anymore!)

So this weekend set aside the cell phone and those files you brought from work. Play a board game, go to a park together, start a family project. That's an order ... or a Commandment! Oh, and don't forget to go to worship service, too!

God bless y'all!
STEPcoach Bob Collins

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do Children Benefit from Divorce?

Divorce leaves scars
The question was asked on a website forum recently, Does Divorce Benefit Children. 
Below is my answer, based on my empirical experience:

No! Children do not benefit from their parents' divorce. In fact they are as damaged as they would be from the sudden, violent death of one of their parents. They learn that life is not to be depended upon for safety, security, or happiness. They learn the cold of trying to fall asleep while crying about the loss of their "safe place" of home where they can be assured of security and encouragement from both parents who can reinforce each other's parenting.

 As a stepfamily minister and family mediator since 1996, and a teacher of court-required classes for divorcing parents of minors, I've seen many, many detrimental effects of divorce on children. I've also heard many, many parents trying to justify their divorces by saying the children will be better off. 

 No, they won't be better off. As Judith Wallerstein points out in her book, What About the Kids?, children whose parents divorce are affected by the divorce the rest of their lives in almost every conceivable context, from their self-esteem and -confidence, to their social interactions, to their own marriages and parenting. By far most of the divorcing parents who come through my classes are children of divorce themselves who are just passing along the epidemic.

 I've watched these scarred children try to fit into stepfamilies in second or third marriages. It is sad to see! They exhibit signs of trauma, insecurity, fear, distrust, anger, acting out, parental isolation, hostility toward the new adults, and most every other trauma-related behavior. Divorce is wrong toward your spouse to whom you've sworn to be true for life; it's abusive to your children who trust you both to care for them unselfishly.

STEPcoach Bob Collins

Thursday, January 3, 2013

To My 13-Year-Old, An iPhone Contract From Your Mom, With Love

Interesting responses. It looks to me like the responders who criticize the lack of trust in the list have never parented a teenager (as I have). One person suggested the parents should let the kids learn from mistakes "like we did." But the mistakes kids can make today have much, much, MUCH more dangerous ramifications than ours did. With great power comes great responsibility. This parent seems to be guiding her son to learn these responsibility lessons in a real-life situation, rather than just talking it out to him. And as for not insisting on knowing his password ... DUH! Any parent who cares for their child's safety and is engaged in the growing process should know what's going on in their child's life. If a child is keeping secrets they don't want Mom or Dad to know, it's something they shouldn't be dabbling in. A parent has the responsibility of protecting, preparing, and guiding a child through childhood into adulthood, prepared to navigate the world on their own. Good job, Janell!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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