At the time of my family brake down, there wasn’t a menu of action plans available and I had to be pragmatic. It was a traumatic time for us all, for myself and my children, for the extended family and for my wife too presumably. It was the first family breakdown our family had experienced and it was all new to us. Very quickly it became apparent that the most affected were my two infant children with whom I had forged very strong bonds from birth. So, what exactly is the best safety net for when a family breaks down and two little infants have to be protected?
Best Safety Nets for When a Family Breaks Down
Grandparents – When a marriage hits the rocks, common sense on behalf of the parents has usually gone out the window a long time ago. In my case, I was blessed that my mother lived in a big old rambling house down town, close to my family home and place of work. My dad had recently died and she was beginning to find it tough living on her own and boy, was I grateful when I was able to move back home. My children became her children and as soon as visitation rights were established it meant that they were coming to a familiar household with lots of love. The structures and routines of my own childhood were immediately put back in place and we had something as close as you can get to a real home. I realize that it’s not possible for everyone to move back to their parent’s home but if you can, go for it. If for some reason, that’s not possible, be creative – but careful.
Extended Family – It’s important for troubled children firstly to be loved and then to be kept occupied so that they don’t dwell on their misery. In my case our old family home suddenly became a busy thoroughfare with uncles, aunts and cousins now constantly visiting to see and play with my two little ones. In no time everybody was facilitating and helping each other out with different aspects of child rearing and my little ones were constantly distracted with play. With the familiarity of close family, it became possible to arrange activities and excursions with little formality, sometimes allowing one family to take with them the children of another on a reciprocal basis. From my children’s point of view this was great and very much reduced the effects of having mom and dad living in separate homes.
God – Marriage breakdown presents the parents with loneliness or just downright boredom and the coresponding freedom to address these. However, shortly after my formal proceedings began, a man invited me to a Bible study. The course quickly connected me with the morality I had learned as an infant and which I was in danger of loosing forever. I saw the ruination of myself and my children pass before my eyes but on the other hand, I saw the opportunity for myself and my children and who knows, ultimatly my wife some day, to be established forever. The Bible believing group who gave the lessons was also the only church in our town who offered Sunday School for children. Here was the opportunity to raise my children with a time proven and constant parenting guide. Here also, was an opportunity for my children to cling to and trust in Someone infinitely more reliable and wise than their dad or mom and who would never let them down. This safety net has been the best by far.