If parents separate, which parent should the children stay with?

Lama Ole’s answer:

When taking a human rebirth, a person will be female if the karmic bond is stronger with the father or male if it is stronger with the mother. That basically means that girls feel more drawn to the father and boys to the mother.

This can change throughout one’s life due to other karmas. I believe that the simplest solution is for the children to live with the parent who has found a new partner with a good connection to the children. This is especially true if one parent doesn’t find a new partner. A family is certainly better than a single parent, unless the bond with that parent is particularly strong.

In most cases, I recommend having an extended family, the way the Nepalese live, for example. In their culture, former partners and their new partners create two families out of one, where the children can maintain a good bond with both parents. In this situation, it is important that the former partners do not feel anger towards one another for being left. Both have to be satisfied when they separate.

I like my parents and look forward to our visits, but we often end up fighting with each other. How can I avoid this?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Don’t visit them too often, but try to always stay friendly while you are there. Every generation has its own lifestyle, and when they encounter each other they each do their best to bridge the gap. When the visit isn’t going well, you go home again and try it later by phone.

From a certain age on, people fall under monument protection anyway; you have to behave yourself with them and not shake them up too much. Check whether they are still able learn something new or whether you can only round off what is already there and give them a few good impressions to take with them into the next life.

Our parents have done so much for us, and they rebuilt Europe after the wars. So, we really owe them something. We should see how we can bring them happiness and try to treat them well. But sometimes treating them well means not visiting them too often and calling them on the phone instead. When that also leads to arguments, then it’s better to write postcards: “I’m doing well and thinking of you” and so on. And each generation can do its own thing.

What can I do if I constantly have arguments with my parents because they always insist on their old-fashioned views and won’t accept anything new?

Lama Ole’s answer:

In some respects, there comes a time when one has to admit that they are “ready for the museum.” On some points they won’t be able to change and will just stay with the views and expressions of their time. In those cases, keep talking to them in a way they can understand and which benefits them. Try to keep things they can’t understand at all away from them, because for them it is now about enjoying a happy old age. You can tell yourself, “I can’t change them anyway, so I will just be friendly.”

On the other hand, there are actually situations where a spark of life is noticeable, and then one can try to tell them that they should change something, that they aren’t too old to try something new! But one really shouldn’t be angry, because parents are difficult out of stupidity, not malice. They wish their children only the best, but they can hardly understand their own situation. And if you are dependent on their support, then it is very difficult for them indeed when you argue with them too much.