Sunday, July 3, 2016

My mom is a hypocrite!

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I’m in high school. I was young when my parents got divorced. My dad moved and now lives with a woman in NYC.

For two years my mom cried and was angry about my dad.

She said over and over that I better be married before I live with anyone. Then my mom started dating this guy, Jerry (not his name).

Recently, I woke up early and Jerry was walking out of my mom’s bedroom. He put his finger to his lips to motion me to be quiet.

I asked my mom if Jerry was spending the nights here and she lied something stupid to me. I didn’t tell her that I saw him.

Now she waits until I go to bed and then she sneaks her boyfriend into her room! What happened to her “thing” about being married before having sex? It’s hypocritical and I’m mad.

My Mom Should Get Married

Dear Daughter,

Forgive your mom but hold to your convictions. Here’s the advice we offer single parents. Because you can’t change your mom, we hope you know you’re not alone.

Top 10 dating do’s and don’ts for single parents:

    Make the rules the same for you as your kids. Practice what you preach. We hope you preach abstinence before marriage even if it’s for moral and safety reasons, if not for religious reasons. And if you do, then abstain from sex yourself, for the same reasons.

    Nobody loves a revolving door. Don’t bring home everyone you date. You don’t have to introduce every possibility to your kids. Certainly, you don’t want your kids’ opinions of your dates. It’s confusing to your kids and it flips the power around. You need to maintain parental power and boundaries.

    Get reliable and steadfast sitters. Don’t make everyone uncomfortable by having to bring your kids unexpectedly on your date. It will scare your kids and your date. Find a babysitter who is grounded.

    Nothing but the truth. Tell the truth (using mature judgment). Lying and sneaking around is not okay. Use discretion and don’t share adult conversations.

    Keep your priorities straight. Do continue to help with homework. Spend alone time with your kids, doing fun and necessary activities. Do take time to talk to your kids without bringing up your latest crush. Normalcy is a must!

    Balance your life. Don’t be a parent-victim. It might seem more fun to go on adult dates than going to soccer practice; however, if your kids think they aren’t as much fun as your dates, it’ll cause a world of pain for you all.

    Don’t use your kids to sabotage relationships or vice versa. Don’t talk about your kids constantly while on your date and don’t talk about your dates to your kids. Be present with each person.

    Do say positive things about your kids’ other parent. Find something positive to say about your kids’ parent. Otherwise, you risk alienating your kids and your dates.

    Don’t involve your dates with your kids’ everyday lives until you are engaged or married. Change is hard enough for you. If the relationship doesn’t work out, don’t make your kids suffer loss after loss.

    Do expect negativity from your kids about your dates. You can expect your kids to be suspect, angry, and intolerant of your dates. They will compare them to their ideal other parent and/ or they will not like sharing you, especially if they have had you all to themselves. Expect it, but never accept it. Your new spouse will be your decision. Just make sure you make your decision prayerfully for your kids’ sake.

Always keep in mind that, while dating can be fun and exciting for you, it’s mostly stressful and uncertain for your children. Make the process as easy as possible for them.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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