The left-out parent.

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This time of year can be especially hard on some parents. Sometimes the wife or husband will not let the other parent come around for the holidays and that can be especially disheartening. The left-out parent will of course be hurt and feel left out of their own family’s life. Feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and hurt churn in their hearts and minds as the days go by.

Sometimes the left-out parent may not be the best person for their family, Sometimes some parents do horrible things that make it not safe for other family members to allow them to come around. That is rare though. Most of the time the left-out parent is left out because the custodial parent has a new lover that does not want the ex to come around, or maybe the custodial parent is just mean and keeps the left-out parent away out of spite. Sometimes custodial parents try their best to make the left-out parent look bad, even in front of the children so that they look like “a better parent” in public.

Whatever the reason for keeping a parent out of the children’s holiday events the children still need their other parent and the other parent needs their children. Even less-than-perfect people have something to offer and God that created them has a plan for them. Don’t get in the way of that. God’s plans always happen whether we want them to or not. Judging the other parent and making them look bad in front of the children is not going to turn out good for anyone in the end.

The children will always need both parents even though neither is perfect. Eventually, the spiteful parent will need the help of the left-out parent. And if a parent is lying to a child about another parent, eventually the child will learn the truth and be totally devastated that they were lied to for so long. It’s best if parents can work together through any circumstances to maintain familial relationships.

Even new partners and step-parents know what they are getting into when they begin a relationship with someone that is already a parent so whatever feelings they have about it should be addressed from the beginning so that the “old family” unit still stays somewhat intact even if the parents no longer sleep in the same house together.

Quality time is important and so is the quantity of time spent with family. That little smile that motivates parents to keep going can happen at any time so be there for it and if you have to be somewhere else then let the other parent be there for it. This holiday season my prayers are with all parents and their children whether you are a custodial parent or a left-out parent.

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Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups, “Hearts and Minds” in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page. Thank you.

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