My three children have often despaired of their mother's attempts at 'dating' post break up from their dad. One evening I asked them to give me 10 Commandments that I could share with other single parents, about how to make life less crazy for the kids when we go searching for a 'new mate,' and most of all, how we should handle our 'post break up' parenting with our Ex's. Their advice gave me much food for thought.
ONE: 'Put me first - make me the incentive to break up right. Please don't fight.'
TWO: 'Don't think new partners buying presents and chocolate will make them take the place of my real mum/dad. Kids don't worship false idols.'
THREE: 'You shall not take the name of each other in vain. Remember the day you said 'I love you' and know that love lasts forever, even if the relationship doesn't. And if your love has gone, good manners will do.'
FOUR: 'Remember our day of rest, and which parent we spend it with, should include us in the decision making process.'
FIVE: 'Honor both father and mother - treat each other with at least the same level of respect you would give to a complete stranger.'
SIX: 'Your old relationship may be dead, but don't kill the new one - you need a working relationship with your co-parent whether you like it or not.'
SEVEN: 'When you take a new partner, keep us kids informed through the process - don't just say "here's your new dad/mum, the last one's in the bin".'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal my childhood. Be honest with me - but that doesn't mean you can dump all your emotional baggage on me either.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness or lie - but neither can you slag off our mother or father even 'out of earshot' - we kids hear everything.'
TEN: 'Appreciate what you have with us and don't compare it to what others have - but now that I have two homes instead of one, that also means double the presents, shopping trips and holidays. OK?'
Creator of Starting Over Show
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