Dear Kelly Clarkson,
I was reading about your pending divorce with your husband. This is probably a stressful time for you and your family. I have appreciated your artistry over the years and was moved to reach out to you. As a clinical social worker, I have worked with divorcing parents and their children for years and here are a few things I have learned and thought I would share just in case:
- During the pendency of the divorce and after the ink dries, one of the most constructive things while you and your husband are co-parenting your beautiful children, is to take a positive view of the other parent. Please know that both of you will make mistakes. It is not the end of the world if a bath is missed one evening, if clothes don’t match perfectly, or chicken nuggets are served for lunch and dinner. There is no bad parenting here, just a normal parent who is trying to do his or her best. Giving the other parent the benefit of a doubt allows your children to observe patience and grace.
- Divorce gives you the opportunity to model integrity. Your divorce is no one’s business (not even mine). Living such a public life must be difficult at times. I am sure you will resist the urge to share details. You will put your differences with your husband aside and do what is best for your children. You will remain honest and trustworthy. Take responsibility for your mistakes. You will rise above the riff raff, hold your tongue and turn on your Southern Charm.
- Listening to your soon to be ex-husband might be difficult. You might need to slow your mental roll. As a quick thinker, it might be hard to listen when you have one hundred thoughts and possible responses all bombarding you at the same time. Communication can be messy. Remember that his words represent his thoughts and feelings. Take a deep breath and really listen. Ask questions to clarify before judging.
- Your kids need you. Little ‘ole you. In all of your imperfections, glorious strengths, and wonderful idiosyncrasies. Stay genuine and authentic in your parenting. Spend time with your children and drink them in. They want to know you are divorcing their dad not them.
- Remember it is better to be kind than to be right. Believe me when I say that you will be tested over and over with this. Create peace within your co-parent relationship. Your children need their parents to be emotionally stabile.
- Divorce is difficult so take care of yourself. Reach out to your friends and loved ones. Rest. Say no! Protect your time and do not overdo it.
Finally, I would like to suggest that you consider using the Collaborative Divorce process for your case. This process prioritizes the needs of the children, it is private and confidential and it is a process that enables you and Brandon to be your best selves through the divorce.
As someone that saw you from afar grow up in Burleson, I am proud of you and all you have accomplished and I know that you will handle this divorce with the same grace and dignity that we have seen throughout your career.