John and Kate’s divorce has been in the news and on the internet quite often of late. I can’t imagine that going through their situation is easy in any sense, and having to do it in the public eye has to make it that much more difficult. That said, from the little I have read, the two of them seem to be handling it well with each looking out for the best interests of the kids. (I love that they are moving in and out while letting the kids keep the house. I hope that this strategy will work for them.)
Although I have to admit that I actually have no idea who John and Kate are – yes, seriously – as I don’t watch that much television, my heart goes out to their situation. Endings are never easy even when one realizes that with the end comes a new beginning. There are emotions to work through and logistics with which to deal. When there are kids involved… the situation becomes that much more difficult simply because they react differently than do the adults. Not to mention that the adults are working through their own issues while hoping to offer the security and support to the kids as they work through different issues entirely.
Kids work on their own schedules and time frames. After all, they are humans with emotions and differing experiences than the adults involved. They process differently just like adults. Some kids might react well, without issue, and then… out of the blue, the issues appear with the questions and the processing. Others might react immediately and work through it quickly. Still others internalize it all until they are ready to talk. It is difficult for kids as they are kids and as kids they don’t have a full grasp of the situation nor do they have the ability to fully understand the emotions at play. They simply see that things change. They wonder how they fit. They consider their role. They might even struggle to see how things will look when the dust settles.
Parents watch their kids – wanting only to do what is best and yet sometimes trying to control the situation which isn’t possible. Isn’t it kind of natural for parents to work hard to protect their kids – which often means controlling the situation to the extent possible… providing lots of distractions, not giving enough information, isolating them from distraction and support in order to control the environment, feeling open for questions and conversations and yet not being approachable. Parents work to help their kids and give them the support necessary and yet, often are so wrapped up in the desire to be there and provide support etc, that they don’t listen, don’t give permission for questions, and simply forget that kids aren’t adults. They need different things. They might deal with issues differently. They are working with new emotions; emotions that parents might not understand as those kids are living a different experience. Parents forget, in the desire to protect, that they might simply need time and space and distraction and reality and love.
While the kids are working through everything on their own time and in their own space – and parents are hoping that they are helping them through it – the adults are doing the same. The process can be an emotional soup! Sometimes with everyone in a good place and sometimes… well, everyone is not.
I can’t imagine having to do this in the public spotlight as John and Kate are doing to some extent. Working through adult relationship issues is difficult. People go to extremes to fix, save, work through, end, or come to terms with relationship situations. They pay thousands of dollars in counseling costs and lawyer fees in attempts to work things through, save marriages, protect their interests, and pursue divorce if it comes to that. John and Kate don’t have the luxury of being private citizens who can isolate themselves completely from friends and family in order to find their way or build a reality and bond that will then, hopefully, withstand the pressures of reality(friends, family, activities…life) once they emerge from this isolation. Kate and John must work through this in such a way that will not hurt their kids and with the continual awareness that the public is watching. Reality surrounds them; isolation is not possible.
While much of America watches, I have to admit that I will not be paying much attention to this situation. John and Kate are doing what they believe to be best for their family which is what adults and parents do. I have no doubt that they will have lots of help and support as they work through this as will their kids. I truly wish them all the best just as I appreciate their courage to meet this situation head on, in the public eye, and in the midst of the pressures of those around them and who may judge them. While many might be concerned as to how things look and the perceptions of others, these two adults and parents seem to be working hard to do all that they can for their kids and a future team parenting experience.