Three-year-old Tiana pleads with her divorce mother to remain friends with her dad.
“I don’t want you and my dad to be replaced by meanies again,” adorable 3-year-old Tiana tells her mother. “I want you and my dad to be placed, settled, and to be friends.
“I’m not trying to be mean. I just want everyone to be friends. And if I can be nice, I think all of us can be nice too. I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m trying to do my best in my heart. Nothing else than that.”
Little Tiana’s plea to her divorced mother to remain friends with her father went viral over the last week and has racked up well over 1 million views. The video is sweet, cute, funny, and incredibly articulate for a toddler.
It should also give all divorced parents a reminder that they should try to do everything they can to remain amicable after they break up.
Divorce is unfortunately combative by nature. Even couples who start the divorce process on friendly terms often turn against each other after going through contentious litigation.
But amicable divorce is possible and is the best antidote to help mitigate the harmful effects divorce can have on children.
Studies have shown children whose parents go through a contentious divorce often pay a hefty price:
- They are more likely to struggle in school.
- They have lower social skills.
- They are at higher risk for anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.
- They are more likely to divorce themselves.
- They face more health problems.
- They have a shorter life span.
Earlier this year a study of 150,000 12- and 15-year-old revealed that children that spend time living with both separated parents are less stressed than those that live with just one.
Statistically, children with divorced parents who are both actively engaged in the parenting process are happier, more secure, more adjusted at home and in school, socialize better, and display fewer health problems.
While this is clearly the best approach for divorced parents to take, it is also a lot easier said than done. After all, there is a reason your marriage didn’t last. You’ve likely had arguments, and feelings have surely been hurt.
But consider the great message it sends to your child if they can see you and your ex put your differences aside to make sure they are brought up in the best environment possible. The child will receive a very personal lesson on the importance of compromise and cooperation. More importantly, they’ll witness how much both parents care about them.
So if you’re struggling to work things out with your ex and are tempted to act bitter, take a step back and ask yourself what’s best for your kid.
And try to heed Tiana’s advice.
“I want you, Mom, my dad, everyone to be friends. I want everyone to be smiling!” she said. “… I think you can do it. I think you can settle your mean heights down a little to short heights.
“ … My heart is something. Everyone else’s heart is something too. And if we live in a world where everyone is being mean – everyone’s going to be a monster in the future.”