Where did the time go? It seems as if yesterday I was a teenager myself.Marriage and divorce came and went without even a goodbye. Cindy my precious little girl is all grown now and ready to leave for college. As single parents we have to work twice as hard to make up for the lack of participation in the lives of our children by the "other" parent.When my husband left for the final time,Cindy was 6 years old. Anyone can tell you a normal 6 year old is a hand full but one that's feeling abandoned can make a parent run to God for help.

Mothers are the main caregivers and instillers of morals whether or not they're doing it on their own or within a marriage, that responsibility falls squarely on her shoulders. I felt so let down and betrayed when my spouse divorced me but I did all I could do to prevent my children especially my young daughter from seeing me at a loss of motivation over losing my husband. It was imperative my girl child saw a strong woman in the face of trials and tribulations instead of one falling by the wayside in despair.

As divorced women we owe it to ourselves to work on our self-esteem and to never be guilty of letting it falter before our children. It is us they look to for the skills in dealing with life's challenges and if we throw our hands in the air everytime we're faced with difficult times our children will adopt that habit. Leaving children a legacy they can pass on to their own children is the real meaning of the expression "the gift that keeps on giving". Good coping skills is a must so I hid very little from my children when it came to them seeing me deal with "impossible" moments.

Morally sound children don't just happen it takes some work and personal sacrificing by the parent. That old saying, "do as I say not as I do" is not a healthy way to rear children and parents can no longer get away with this type of education. Truthfully speaking we live in a world that's not children-friendly and it seems as if behind every corner is a black shadow waiting to overcome our children. We mustn't give that black shadow an opportunity to be embraced by our kids. Parents must live the kind of lives that's promotive of good and acceptable behavior by our young.They (children) must be able to resist temptation through valid reasoning but they must first see you exercise restraint to stray.

I frequently found myself closely examining my children's friends, after all, those children are reflective of their rearing environments as well. If you're saying to yourself at this moment, "no parent can be the police 24 hours a day", you're right but if you neglect to screen the people in your child's life it's you and your child left to suffer the consequences. It's better to have done something than wondering if I should've done something. I lacked a social life of my own because my children were worth protecting from the predators and I don't regret the choices I made.

I'm not judging those parents that feel they can't protect their children quite the way I did my own but I'm telling those of you who can see the deteriorating world we live in to make a choice to sacrifice some Me Time for Children Time. When my children reach milestones in their lives that'll be symbolic of each time I did without space and time for myself to be the protector and instiller of good values for them.

Article told to Regena English by Stoi Leng a corporate attorney based in Dallas,Texas.

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