Remember as a kid getting on the merry-go-round and having a friend run along side pushing faster and faster and then jumping on the last minute. You would have to hold on as tight as you could because your body would be pulled by the centrifugal force. Then as an adult pushing your child on the merry-go-round we learn to just stand in one place and push the merry-go-round and you don’t jump on because lets face it…that force that brings a funny feeling to your tummy now makes you sick as an adult.
Kids can stay on that ride for a long long time. They don’t even know the effects of the spin until they jump off and are a little wobbly on their feet. But you are there, standing on solid ground, to hold there hand while they adjust back to the normal effects of gravity. Can you picture it? This can be the effect of a child going through a divorce, only the merry-go-round isn’t such a fun ride and you need to not get on it.
In a high-conflict divorce, both parents are on the ride with the kid. They take turns getting off and pushing, and then jump right back on. Meanwhile, the children never get a break and they just spin and spin. Your job, as the healthy parent, is to get off that ride and stay off. To hold your child’s hand when they do finally decide they have had enough. When they come on your parenting time with lies and hate, understand that they have just been on the merry-go-round with no relief and you have to do what you can to stop them spinning.
Feels good not to spin and feels even better to stop your kids from spinning.