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Do people ever stop excusing behavior "because of the divorce"?

Calypso1977's picture

over the weekend, my BIL said that all of SD14's behavior is "because of the divorce". her parents have been divorced for 4 years now. i really dont think she back talks and is rude/disrespectful due to the divorce. i think its bad parenting and bad influences, and i think she's aware that family members are saying its the divorce and therefore she's riding that train as long as she can.

does there ever come an age where people call these kids out and hold them, not their parents divorce, responsible for their actions and behaviors? so annoying!

jssdallas's picture

I think given the age that it is party just her age (rude/talking back-teenage girl stuff!!) and yes that part of it could be the divorce. I have not been through one as a child or as an adult, but I think most parents do NOT provide enough counseling or opportunity for kids to get professional help and I do think that it can be truly devastating.
My guess is it is a combo of both and therapy could help. Family and individual. That said, I also think partly the age. This is when girls turn into little punks.. Smile

notarelative's picture

I don't think bad behavior ever deserves a pass.
I think kids are really good at using an excuse they can get away with.

Mine, for a while, tried the my father died excuse. My answer was that if your father were here he'd be very disappointed in your behavior and would never accept it. You, child, should be acting the same way you would if your dad were here. Your father being dead does not give you an excuse for poor behavior. Consequences will be applied for poor behavior.

COD is not an excuse for poor behavior. It is a reason adults use so they do not have to teach/ disciplines child.

Sweet T's picture

My son just said to me today that I have no idea how it feels to have your parents be divorced because grandma & grandpa are still married. Argh!!! I told him, well guess what they should have been divorced 40 years ago.

CantKeepDoingThis's picture

I don't think they ever stop using the divorce as an excuse for bad behavior! HHB wasn't even walking when BM and DH split...she wasn't even old enough to remember a life with them being together. Her whole life, they have been apart. Lack of parenting...plain and simple...is the reason for her bad attitude and behavior. And from what I've seen the last 15 years, nothing would have changed if BM and DH had stayed together, as they are both guilty of not parenting the girl!

If divorce were the root of the problem, then my bios should also be royally screwed up, but they aren't. My grandfather called the other day just to chat, and was saying he was proud of my bios. He appreciates that they are both hard working and respectful adults, praising me for doing a good job. For someone from the OLD SCHOOL way of raising children to say that of my kids, means a lot!

hereiam's picture

Parents tend to parent differently after a divorce (plus, she's a teenager).

Is a divorce hard on kids? Absolutely. Will they act out? More often than not. The key is, the parents not letting them get away with it. They have to continue to discipline after the divorce; not feel sorry for the kids and not try to make it up to them by being permissive. They have to care more about being a good parent than being the favorite parent, being a parent over being a friend.

I also agree with getting kids help in dealing with the divorce. People think kids are resilient and they will adjust, which can be true, but that's not to say that they don't need some help and someone to talk to.

And yes, if she is hearing people use the divorce as an excuse for her, she's going to milk it. Her parents need to shut that down.

CantKeepDoingThis's picture

BM is using the exact same parenting style on HHB's half brother as she used on HHB. That kid is also doomed at this point, and BM is still married to that kid's father! Dad just checks out, so he isn't really parenting either.

When it comes to DH, who knows. I lead in the parenting department with my bios, and DH just played backup.

another step's picture

No - I think it is pretty much a permanent "hall pass" for anyone who wants to behave badly. Whether you are a child of divorce or the one whose marriage broke up, THE DIVORCE is tailor made for excuse after excuse after excuse.

kathc's picture

When she's 65 and a bitch to her daughter in law it'll be because she was a child of divorce sixty years earlier. It never ends.

over step's picture

From my experience, my dh tolerates a lot of sd15's bad behaviors due to fear that she will choose not come for visits anymore. Sd also knows that if she makes dad feel guilty for something that happened after the divorce he will coddle her.

My feeling is that there are children in the world that has lost 1 or both parents to death or have an abusive parent(s). Even though your parents divorced, be happy that you have at least one parent who is there to love, care, and be a part of your life. No situation is how you want it to be but you have to be thankful for want you do have because there are so many others that don't have the opportunity CODs have.

Evil3's picture

My SKs, especially SD got away with being assholes for over 20 years because of the divorce excuse. One day, SS23 confessed that he knew that since his parents divorced when he was two, he had no memory of them being together. He said that meant that SD25 was four, so he doubted very much that she had memory of it either. SS thought that SD was counting on people assuming that she remembered her parents being together and milked it for all it was worth. Still, everyone was too afraid to call SD on her bullshit. Now, she's almost 26 and she's still the cow she always was and people are still scared that she's still traumatized over the divorce.

notarelative's picture

I know an elementary teacher who after parent conferences said she wanted to ask the 'broken home' parents when the contractor was coming to fix the huge crack in the house.

The.Sane.One's picture

Kraken and DH split when SS was 6 months old and got divorced. He is now 9 and everyone still excuses his asshole behavior.

My parents divorced when I was a baby and I was not an asshole other than normal teenage assholeness. People who do this to the kids cripple them for real life.

IslandGal's picture

If anything, As a BM, I became much, much more strict after my divorce. I was terrified of my Son's turning into selfish, using, womanising pieces of shit like my ex was so I became the dragon from hell (yes..they still call me dragon). I came down hard on them if they didn't do homework, cleaned their rooms or if they back chatted or disrespected their elders. Chilli powder on their tongue works wonders for smart-ass mouths!

They told me I was the strictest parent out of all their friends and hated that I wouldn't allow them out gallivanting with their mates over the weekeds. They were allowed to go to the movies etc.. but no sleep overs and they had to be home in tme for dinner. Rules..rules and more rules.. drove them mental at the time!

Now.. my 16 year old is doing fantastic at school - he is in the upper 5 of his subjects. My 22 year old finishes his apprenticeship this year and will be a fully qualified cabinet-maker. My 32 year old has his own place and is loving life.

So that excuse is beyond pathetic and piss poor weak. It is the parents who fail when their kids turn into entitled, miserable brats. Your role as a parent is to guide your child to adulthood, teaching them independence, social skills and how to support yourself....not run around after them using divorce as a friggin' reason to make excuses for their rotten behaviour.

luvmykidsmore's picture

I am in the process of considering divorcing my wife of less than 1-yr. I have been called a coward, loser, etc. I have been made to believe that what I am doing is ALL my fault. I'm terrible....but, it does not deter me from wanting to end this relationship. I have become bitter, resentful. Disillusioned...it didn't happen in a vacuum. It didn't "just" happen. Now that I am trying to focus on being the best I can be for MY biological kids, I am being attacked for using them as an excuse. I am accused to being something that I have never been until NOW. I have behaved in ways that I had never in the past. In a short period of less than a year...I have become something I do not like and I need to get out before I am totally useless to anyone.

No. Divorce is a haven at times. An escape. A means to getting better, more sane. I will do everything in my body to make certain this break-up does not become an excuse for my kids become dysfunctional. My wife uses it as a reason for her effed-up perspective on relationships.