Showtime, a single father, offers advice to couples like Usher and Tameka Raymond on how to maintain a healthy and peaceful situation for your children during a break-up.
I think the consensus amongst most people who are logical thinkers is that tragedy should bring folks closer together, not tear them apart. I’m not just talking about any kind of tragedy. I am referring to the tragedy that occurs when a close family member is seriously injured or when someone close suffers an untimely and unfortunate death. Usually, when tragedy strikes it forces you to put things into perspective and change your way of thinking.
Last month while battling with her ex husband Usher Raymond in an Atlanta family court, Tameka Raymond suffered the unfortunate fate of losing her 11-year-old son Kile as a result of injuries that he suffered during a collision with a jet ski. The estranged couple had been fighting in court over custody of their two sons Usher V, 4, and Naviyd, 3 when Kile was struck by a jet ski during a family vacation, placed in an intensive care unit, and ultimately taken off of life support.
Three weeks after losing Kile, Usher and Tameka were back in court slinging mud against each other like nothing ever happened. Last week during his closing arguments Usher’s attorney made a point of saying that Tameka was “incapable of being a proper parent” to the boys, because she “does not have the emotional stability to or capacity to bond with them, and therefore she is handicapped.” ..OUCH! Tameka’s lawyer fired back by questioning Usher’s ability to be there for his children due to his hectic work and performance schedule. He questioned the relationship that Usher has with his own mother who would be the children’s primary caretaker while he is on the road.
Tameka even took to twitter page to throw a subliminal jab at Usher’s current girlfriend Grace Miguel. Reportedly the tweet was referring to Miguel’s inability to have children because her tubes are tied…YIKES…
All of this drama just makes me wonder how can you avoid drama with someone after your relationship is over. It becomes especially hard when you have children with that person. t’s never easy to handle any situation when emotions are involved. Both of these parents are dealing with the loss of a child. Even though Kile wasn’t biologically Usher’s son, he still played a major role in his life. And I couldn’t even begin to fathom the grief that Tameka is feeling. But shouldn’t this tragedy put things into perspective and inject some sort of positivity into the way that these two treat each other? They were married and they have two children together. I understand that this issue is emotionally draining on all parties involved. But grief for Kile should be the superseding emotion right now.
Adding all of the unnecessary drama to an already hostile situation is just going to make things worse. There is nothing good that can come from any of this. I personally think they should have put the custody hearing on hold for a while so Tameka could have time to mourn her son and grieve. It just sounds crazy to me for a parent to lose a child and two weeks later be back in court fighting for custody of two other children. I know that some people grieve differently than others, but this just seems like a bit much to me.
So since most situations aren’t as extreme as what Usher and Tameka are going through I think we should talk about some ways that I think you can avoid having drama with your ex, whether you have a child with them or not.
1. You Don’t Have To Forget…But Always Forgive – One of the hardest things to do after a breakup is forgiving someone who you feel has done you wrong. As humans we tend to hold on to those grudges for years and years. No matter what happens, sometimes we still continue to keep those feelings of contempt inside of us. Not only is a lack of forgiveness unhealthy for our relationship with the other parent, it is also unhealthy for us physically and can be detrimental to our relationship with our children. You will find that if you let go of the bitterness that you are holding against someone that you will have less anxiety, lower blood pressure, lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse, and fewer symptoms of depression. You don’t have to forget what the person has put you through. Just find it in your heart to forgive them so you can move on yourself and get the best that life has to offer. It’s not something that will happen over night. It is a process that will take time. But if you are determined to be in the best place in you life that you can be, you have to do it.
2. Be The Bigger Person – As we all know, there are people out there who will test you. I mean tap dance on your last nerve, kick it into the air, catch it with one hand and then hit their Dougie with it. Well, in the midst of all of that it is up to you to be the bigger person. Like the old saying goes, “Don’t argue with a fool because from a distance people can’t tell who is who.” When you stoop down to the level of someone who is trying to bring you down it only ends up hurting you. It doesn’t hurt them because that is all they want to do anyway. Sometimes you have to put that pride to the side and kill them with kindness. If it feels like it is physically hurting you to bite your tongue and be the bigger person, don’t worry…IT WON’T KILL YOU. After each situation is over you can walk away saying that no matter how hard they pushed you and tried to get you to break, you still kept your cool. You can bend a little…Just don’t break!
3. Always Do What’s Best For The Kids – Once you become a parent, there is nothing more important than your children. Everything that you do should revolve around them. You have to put aside whatever emotions you are feeling about the other parent and do what is best for your child. You should never stop doing or supporting your child because of issues with the other parent. That child is going to need you to be there for them for the rest of their lives. There is no reason that you shouldn’t be doing everything in your power to provide for them and give them all of the financial, emotional, and moral support that you can. The responsibility of taking care of the children belongs to both of you and that is something that will never change. If you stop taking care of the child, or stop seeing the child simply because of factors that are beyond your control, the child will grow up resenting you, and you will spend the rest of your life wishing that you would have stuck around and been there when they needed you the most.
4. Don’t Tell Everyone Your Business – Try to get in the habit of keeping things to yourself. When you get too many people involved in your personal life you are inviting in too many thoughts and opinions on what you should be doing and what decisions you should be making. Whatever is going on in your home should stay in your home with the exception of those close family members and friends that you know you can confide in and trust. Everyone isn’t going to understand your situation and if you ask five different people for advice you are going to get five different answers. Keep your friends and family close, and your personal issues even closer.
5. Know Your Rights -This is probably the most important thing that I can tell any parent, especially fathers. Know your rights. You were just as responsible for creating that child as the mother was. Which means that you are entitled to the same rights. A lot of times fathers will get discouraged because they don’t feel that they can receive a fair shot in court. Every day, fathers are going to court and winning custody of their children. But the first step to getting a fair shake in court is to know what your rights are and what you are entitled to. Get familiar with your state’s child custody laws and child support calculation. Find out who the best family law attorneys are in your area and see what type of services they provide. Many attorneys offer free first time consultations. One of the best ways to combat ignorance and drama is through education. Educate yourself on the things that will really matter if you have to stand before a judge and plead your case in a family court.
The goal is to be the best parent that you can be. Don’t let the drama, bickering, and senseless arguments take away much needed time and energy that you could be using to spend time with your children. Sometimes it’s best to step back, take a moment and analyze the situation and make a logical decision as opposed to getting caught up with the drama.
AP Photo of Usher and Tameka’s family, including Kile (third from left, bottom row) who passed away this summer.