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What Would You Like Your Child's Tombstone To Say?

A few days ago, I offered my two cents about the news story where the father of the bride asked her stepfather to help escort them down the aisle. The point that many parents overlook is that looking out for your children's best interests means that you should treat the adults in their lives with respect as well. The bride's father in the news story put whatever animosity he had for his ex-wife's husband aside and honored his role in his daughter's life.

I have to wonder how this bride's marriage will turn out. Will she have a long-lasting and loving marriage? Or will her marriage end in divorce like her parents'. If her parents were engaged in a high conflict divorce, then her marriage might have problems. Here's why.

The most severe damage that high conflict divorces have on children does not manifest until they become adults. High conflict divorces will hinder your child's ability to form and maintain lasting relationships. If you don't believe me, ask any mental health professional who deals with children of divorced parents. You might respond that your child gets good grades, is an academic star and is going to a good college. That is great, but that does not mean all is well and you are in serious denial.

If you and your ex-spouse cannot tone it down, then your child runs the risk of a bad marriage also. It means that the relationships that he/she forms will be warped. That includes relationships with his/her spouse, children, grandchildren and extended family and friends. It hurts their ability to develop the qualities that really matter-- you know the ones that you find on a tombstone when you visit a cemetery. When you look at a tombstone, you are likely to see "Beloved Father, Brother, Grandfather" or "Beloved Mother, Sister, Grandmother, Aunt"....you know the drill.

So, what do you want your child's tombstone to say? Do you want your child to grow up having the "tombstone qualities" or would you prefer that your child's tombstone have his GPA engraved on it? Your choice.