From the Inbox

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Received lots of mail regarding yesterday's post, which helped, cuz I was in a pretty bad place .. being wide-awake most of the night .. walking around out in the yard .. looking up at the stars .. as if for answers .. or strength. The cool, night air felt good .. the quiet, soothing.

MailboxMany shared incredible stories, which make my own experiences seem trivial.

Here's one I found particularly insightful & honest .. from Bonnie, who lives up in the Bay area. Used with permission:

Dear Rad,
I have been reading your blog occasionally for eons, usually when I am in some kind of geeky trouble. You write well and thoughtfully. For that I am grateful.

And so today I sought what you have to say about monitors. While not looking very hard and not finding that, I did see your touching lament about your boy's tears.

With too much experience as a single parent, I can say this is painful but will pass. Before long, your son will be craving time with you and won't be able to get enough.

Children always crave the parent who is not present, and the hardest thing is when a grownup burdens the child with an emotional barrier to the other parent. That he is worrying about losing you both suggests too much worry for such a little fella.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

His work should be play. The best you can do is to play with him, one on one, until he runs from you in terror, which of course will never happen.

Play cards with him. All kids love Slap Jack, where each card is dealt face up, one on top of the other. For fairness, the growing stack should be placed halfway between each player. The first to see a jack slaps it hard (and shouts with glee) and collects the cards beneath it. The winner is the one who winds up with all the cards. Asserting your personal interest in being the winner makes it all the more exciting.

And then lose gracefully.

All anyone needs to know is this boy is half-you and half-her. Any implied or veiled criticism of the other parent, however slight or nuanced, is always taken personally by the child, as if he were to blame, and responsible for the fact his parents are no longer together. Such a heavy burden on tiny shoulders. When she speaks of you in your son's presence, the boy will hear himself being discussed, even when that is not the intent.

What to do to strengthen your son?

Say nice things about his mom. The more your son hears positive views of his mom from you, the more okay it will be for him to be with you, and when the time comes, for him to fight for his right to be with you.

Four was my absolute favorite age for my two, now grown. At age 4, they were out of diapers, talking, and independent, but still interested in pleasing me. At 5, they become more outward bound. Mom became less important, and then an embarrassment.

The long-term effects of divorce on children have been studied by both Judith Wallerstein and E. Mavis Hetherington. Each came to a different conclusion.

My personal opinion is the quicker you fire the lawyers and begin to work out your differences with the person once loved, the easier it will be for the children to get beyond their parents' break-up, which does not have to dominate their lives, but sometimes does, because grown-ups won't let go.

Rad, thank you so much for your beautiful writing and thoughtful approach to technolust.

Bonnie Britt
Editing & Design

Thanks Bonnie, and to all who sent such encouraging notes.

My concern is that his paradigm, his model of what is normal in a relationship between a man & woman .. will be deformed, feeling that conflict and disagreement are the norm (when it should be love and understanding). Thus preventing him from developing a serious and meaningful relationship of his own (when the time comes).

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on May 16, 2009 11:40 AM.

"I want my mommy." was the previous entry in this blog.

How to Use Templates in Dreamweaver CS4 to Help Develop & Maintain your Web Site is the next entry in this blog.

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