Divorce, Re-Marriage and the "little note taker"

By Dr. Randy Cale

During the recent February school vacation week, I took my first vacation, without my kids, since long before my divorce 5 years ago.  My sons spent a wonderful week with their father and his girlfriend skiing in Vermont.   After the vacation and during the first 15 minutes that I was re-united with my sons they told me that their dad and his girlfriend were getting married.  They recounted “the proposal” on Valentine’s Day and that they would be the ring bearers in the wedding ceremony.  I expressed great happiness to my sons and told them how wonderful it is to find someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with.  I think my show of delight at my ex-spouses engagement set my sons minds at ease.  So much so, that they began to express concerns about their father moving to the next town and how would he bring them to school sometimes and that his new fiances house didn’t have their bedroom set up yet…etc.   After I re-assured them of their concerns, their minds turned to me!  They began questioning when I would get married. Why would I not marry my boyfriend now and how wonderful it would be to have 2 additional brothers in the household to play with.  I talked to them about the importance of committment and that it takes awhile to be sure that you love someone so much that you want to marry them. 

I wonder what others have said or done in divorce situations?   How have you handled emotions and strategies about talking to your kids about your divorce or re-marriage?  I wonder how my sons will grow up in world of divorced and blended families?  Will they really ever learn about committment, honor and most importantly love?

On Dr. Cale’s website about divorce, I read this little bullet which stuck with me:

  • As your children go to bed each night, look deeply into their eyes, and realize that there is a little tiny “note taker” inside their head. This note taker is keeping track and is learning from you about how to handle life’s most difficult challenges. And that note taker, is always taking notes. Then ask yourself “What notes did they take today?”
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    Categories : Divorce

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    About Dr Cale

    During the past 23 years, in working with hundreds of families, I began to realize that many parents, just like you, were showing up in my office well-educated—but getting poor results. They had been to therapy, they had read the books and even attended other training programs—yet their children were still not listening, not doing homework and not cooperating.

    I discovered that many of these parents were parenting with false ideas about how to predictable and reliably shape and change their children’s behavior. As a result, I began to develop ideas about the core behavior change principles…and how to turn each of these into specific parenting solutions. As long as I was able to stay true to these principles, the most challenging problems quickly faded away.

    My purpose with this program is to give you access to the strategies that come from these core principles. By practicing and following through with the techniques in this program, you will be able to transform any set of negative behavior patterns in your home. Your kids will be happier and more responsible. They will quickly learn to be respectful, cooperative and helpful around the house. Tantrums, whining, complaining and negativity will be a thing of the past.