e-family: The Seeds of Recovery

February 26th, 2012 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

An update to my previous post about our little e-family since last writing:

Well, I am pleased to say that the kids have plunged themselves into activities in the outside world. This is a happy discovery. Living the way we did does not seem to have had any impact on their ability to socialise and meet new friends. They are likeable and well-liked, mature for their ages, outgoing and friendly. Thankfully they have found some good friends!! It is hard to keep up these days and after a few short weeks they are involved in different interests and productions.

This is all great, although for me personally it is a harsher reality to accept. No longer is everyone together, now none of us are together. And that gets a little lonely for me at times. It is however heart warming to see the progress they have made.

Well the iPad is never far from my hand still, but I do find that I enjoy the days when I have left it behind more.  I even deleted the Twitter and Facebook apps temporarily, but I have put them back on now. The iPad is not nearly so cool without them and social media is important for communication with colleagues and also my main method of support in these difficult times. I do need to get out and meet people in the real world more – and I am! – but it takes time to build new friendships. In the meantime, killing the apps was cutting off my nose to spite my face.

I find I use the phone for communication much more now. I have seen so much miscommunication that has come about from text, iMessage and email over the last six weeks. It is hard to trust it with important communication anymore.

Well my work has largely gone out the window of late. Oh to be a man! Men tend to throw themselves into work after a split (rightly or wrongly) whereas women often have so much else to deal with that work gets forgotten or pushed to one side.  This must change!!

This is the same with the kids and their education. Perhaps this is a real drawback to home education. If they had gone to school then they would have had that to focus on daily and their work would have continued. It is very hard for them to settle down to study in a home that is so very changed.

I suppose I knew this was a problem for home educated kids as I have heard of other families that worked just fine up until their parents’ separation and then it all fell apart. But it’s not like they can start school now in light of this so I need to stay the course with home education, even if it is the last thing that they, or I, feel like doing.  Their education as younger children was autonomous – that is entirely self-directed – but now they have courses to follow and deadlines to meet. Self-direction helped them meet those deadlines before, which is not the case now. However, most people achieve things through extrinsic motivation, because they have to and this is an important life lesson. Sometimes you have to knuckle down!

So I need to kick ass on this as they can’t let their education slide just because of everything that has happened.  “Life is hard” and “life moves on” are both  important lessons – no matter where you do your learning!!!

One of the things that the kids don’t like is the suggestion that their old life was bad or wrong. It is their background and their foundation and I must respect that. Kids whose parents separate often feel their life before is invalidated by the separation, which is very difficult as it also invalidates part of their identity.  This is even more the case with my kids because in a very real sense it is all they have known.

Maybe in light of that, my previous post was mis-titled as ‘The End of the e-Family’. I think it is perhaps more of a ‘re-imagining’.

Either way, it is up to me to stay the course!!

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at 2:04 pm and is filed under Flotsam. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “e-family: The Seeds of Recovery”

  1. Andrew Says:

    You’ll find that kids are amazingly good at coping with this sort of thing. When my wife walked out 10mths ago, my world imploded, but they have been incredible with their approach to change. They have adapted to living in 2 houses, sharing their time equally and generally getting on with life.

    As for you, hopefully like me, you’ll realise that what was important, has now changed quite a bit. Take time to re-discover your life…get back to knowing you. It’s a scary world out there, but you will be surprised how well you can handle your ‘new’ life.

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