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Divorcing parents can be superheroes in their kids’ eyes

Superheroes are often idolized by young children. Superheroes do good deeds not only with super powers, but also with flair, great outfits and nifty sayings. Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? “Cowabunga!” they would yell. And Thor would exclaim “Odin’s beard!” Superman vowed to fight for “truth, justice and the American way.”

A Huffington Post columnist writes that divorcing parents can be superheroes in their splits from their spouses. But they, too, need to live by certain creeds and do good deeds in order to shine in the eyes of their children.

Author and psychotherapist Abby Rodman writes that the first thing a divorce superhero must do is “protect the innocents.” She says children don’t need to know the ugly, painful details of the divorce you’re going through. Instead, pick a simple explanation for both parents to use — example: “We’ve done everything we can and we still can’t make it work” — and stick to it. No embellishments or colorful anecdotes in order to get your child to take your “side” in the divorce.

Rodman also advises divorcing parents to be fair and deliberate in their dealings. That means you should not try to rush through the proceedings. Negotiate in good faith, she writes. Have your family law attorney pursue resolutions to child custody disputes that not only protect your rights as a parent, but protect your children’s best interests at all times.

Comport yourself in a way that won’t embarrass you later. That means being honest about yourself and your role in the divorce and carrying yourself with dignity and self-respect. It means being honest, too, about your income, debts, savings and all of the details that will be part of the division of your marital estate.

“Save yourself and those you love from future embarrassment and pain,” Rodman writes. “Because that’s what superheroes do.”

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