A Parenting Mystery * LTD Contributor

by Elyse Rafferty Mitchell, LTD Contributor

 

Elyse Mitchell, Author of "Meatballs & Peanut Butter"

“When you know, you know.” This statement could apply to anything from finding true love to knowing when your cookies have had enough time in the oven.

But when it comes to children of divorce needing the help of outside resources (whether a therapist, etc), how do you really know?

 

Intuition is a powerful thing, and in this situation, I am counting on it to guide me through this parenting mystery, too.

 

There just seems to be so many other variables that come into play: age, temperament, personality…so to throw in our marital and family situation, my intuition seems to be getting stuck between channels.

 

I’ve mentioned the separation anxiety that my 3yo is currently re-experiencing, so in addition to that, there is his newly found physical anger. My little sweet and shy boy has turned into Mr. Hot Head. And not all the time, it’s almost like he’s testing the water with this behavior. It started with fighting with his brother and now he’s hitting me (and our nanny) over things like bedtime and discipline.

 

I was speaking with a well-known child therapist recently, and although she’s never met my children, I posed the question to her. How will I know? If not at this age, how will I know years from now?

 

Her response was simple, but still confusing: Are you noticing any changes in their sleeping or eating patterns? Any changes socially, at school or with their interests?

 

No, not really.

 

Unless you count anger as a social change. Is he picking this up at school? Too many ninja cartoons?

 

Maybe I am just thinking about it too much and being too sensitive to changes. Kids go through these shifts every day, whether or not the parents are married or divorced. Right?

 

Should I worry about it? I am not sure whether I know. So “when you know, you know”, well, I know that I don’t know. Does that count?

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