Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Divorced Parents: Lend an Ear

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Divorced Parents: Lend an Ear

Article excerpt

Dear Ann Landers: My parents divorced when I was 4, and I grew up knowing that Mommy lives here and Daddy lives there. It was no big deal. But something else was going on that I was not aware of.

My father used to complain to me about how hard it was to meet his child support payments. Hearing that, along with all the other financial troubles, every weekend for nearly 14 years made me feel that I was the source of all the problems. I dreaded the visitations and tried to be the perfect child. I even ate as little as possible, hoping to save money on the grocery bill.

As I look back, I realize things were not nearly as bad as I had imagined, which is why I am writing. Divorced parents should be careful not to make their children feel that they are responsible for money problems. True, divorce does cause financial hardship, what with keeping up two households, but it's not the kids' fault. NO CITY, NO STATE You've made an excellent point. Often, children think they caused the divorce. Hearing too much talk about money problems could add more unearned guilt. Parents would do well to listen, with a third ear, to what they say to their children.

***** Dear Ann Landers: You ridiculed the young woman who did her boyfriend's laundry as being "different" and predicted unhappy consequences.

A young woman did my laundry and baked me an apple pie. She was different from any of the young women I had dated, and I married her.

We have four children, the third born one month before my wife received her doctorate from Harvard. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I love my wife more today than during our "laundry" courtship. Our children were raised with a sense of service to family and friends as well as to the community.

Although my wife is a professional, she still gets the greatest pleasure from being a wife and mother. …

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