Steve worries that his divorce is compromising how his daughters are raised:
“My wife and I divorced last fall and we have two small girls. I only get to be with my daughters two days a week and every other weekend. My wife and I have different ideas about raising the children and I don’t feel like I have a large say in how certain things happen, like the food we give our children. I believe that the girls should have natural, whole foods and even organic when possible. My wife doesn’t really cook and makes what seems to me to be quick and easy, but not necessarily healthy meals. We had a veryhostile divorce and our communication is limited and short. How do I make sure that my values are represented in the raising of our children?”
Dr. Howard replies:
First of all, as hard as this might be to hear, could you be harboring any conflicting feelings about your ex that might be contributing to the difficulty that still exists between you and your wife? How can you be the calming rain to her fire? From this non-combative place, as far as the food situation goes, try to help her understand to the best of your ability on why it’s important to eat natural, whole food. Perhaps you could offer suggestions of take-out food places that would provide nourishing food, if she doesn’t like to cook. You don’t really have much control over how she handles the food when you’re not with her. Maybe you could persuade her to go to a professional who can help you negotiate the differences. If she’s not willing to do that, all you can do is educate your children to the best of your ability on why it’s important to eat well. If you believe this is very important, stick to your convictions, and at least half of the time the children will eat good food and will be raised with certain standards.
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