The KARDASHIANS: Divorce, Co-parenting and Blended Family Dramatists With Lessons for us All

Kardashians Divorce: Co-parenting or Blended Families

“Kardashian Confidential: Divorce, Co-parenting and Blended Family Drama is our new trademark”

The Kardashians and KarJenners are an American family globally renowned for their skill at producing, handling and creating titillating headlines mainly involving body parts (such as their enviable posteriors and over-ample breasts) but also concerning divorce, co-parenting and blended family issues. Indeed, it is incontroverbitle that the Kardashians and Karjenners have become an American institution.  Say what you want about this family – and there is plenty to say – but they have definitely earned a place in the pantheon of iconic American families – right up there with the Jacksons, the Kennedys, the Clintons and maybe the Bushes. But more than any of these other families we all have to admit that these folks make good TV.

The Reality TV superstars have more than their fair share of family dysfunction and interfamilial drama to last any of us a lifetime.  Honestly, who can deny there is massive dysfunction in that family? Not even the Kardashians themselves, I bet. But you know what? It’s not all bad news for the Kardashian family. This family is also a textbook case of family “velcro” in that their ability to remain a cohesive, close knit family after everything they go through (and it’s a lot), and yet, still stick together, is simply amazing. They are, quite simply, experts at handling family challenges without splitting apart at the seams and turning on each other.  At least so far. Plus, they also have an uncanny ability to turn everything – even divorce – into a photo op.

So what does this have to do with you and your life? What can you learn from the Kardashians? The Kardashians can teach you a lot.  The rest of us, too, can learn a lot from the Kardashians as far as how to handle our own family dysfunctions and not end up hating on each other or otherwise taking leave of our cotton-picking minds. If you are going through your own family dramas at this time, you have only to look at the Kardashians for a little inspiration.


Kris Jenner, the Kardashian matriarch, has been divorced and married at least twice. Her first marriage to Robert Kardashian ended in divorce after having four children together, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Robert Jr. Each of these individuals have, in their own right, re-written the rules on family, marriage, co-parenting and divorce.

Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner

Kris can definitely teach you how to remain stoic in the face of a messy divorce. Before Bruce wrote the tell all book after he became Caitlin, Kris tried to be amicable about the whole thing. And this had to have been very, very difficult for her. Wouldn’t you agree that Kris’ divorce from second husband Bruce Jenner was an “amicable split”? Or so it seemed to me.  At least, publicly. From her end, it was amicable at the time the event occurred. And wouldn’t you agree that one has to give this woman kudos for how she handled that situation? And the whole family too? They tried to give him the support and benefit of the doubt they obviously felt they should. Kim and the rest of the family were publicly very supportive of Caitlin née Bruce. It was admirable. Let’s be honest. Imagine yourself in a situation where you have been married to a man for more than two decades and he comes home and announces that he is going to get a sex-change operation. He is going to remove his penis and insert a well-manicured/plucked vagina. What is your response?

Now, you may not have a thing against trans people. God bless ’em as far as you are concerned. But do you necessarily want to be at the receiving end of a trans husband who unplugged his penis and inserted a vagina when you are not a gay woman? And how do you feel about it? Magnanimous? Or angry?

But notice how Kris conducted herself. We should all be so classy in these types of situations.
Of course, daughter Kim Kardashian knows a thing or two about divorce. She has had a few at this point, maybe more than her mother Kris. What can we learn from Kim? Well, her divorce from Kris Humphries was definitely instructive. Do not marry someone who you know deep in your heart is “not ideal.” Kim famously uttered these words about her husband not even one month after marrying him. It begged the question why did she marry him in the first place? Was it just for the show? Just so she could show off the pretty white dress? No one wants to be in a position of judgment because maybe it is just a simple case that she got married to this person and then, suddenly, she woke up and realized her feelings had changed and there was nothing she could do to change those feelings back. Who knows? But there was a lot of backlash in social media and society generally that Kim Kardashian had seemingly made a mockery of the institution of marriage and that is definitely a lesson for us all. Luckily, there was no dramatic custody war since luckily for us all, Kim and Kris did not have any children together.

Kim Kardashian divorce
Kim Kardashian circa 2009

What about her sister Khloe who also knows a thing or two about divorce? Khloe famously married NBA player Lamar Odom and hung on to the marriage for a good minute. The couple even had their own spin-off reality tv show called Khloe and Lamar. They seemed to really try everything in that marriage to keep it going but it is clear that that situation just was not viable and probably was not viable from day one, and in the end, after a lot of problems including addiction and a bust in a whorehouse somewhere in the American southwest (I forget where it was exactly), and reconciliation, the couple, Lamar and Khloe finally pulled the plug on their marriage. What is the lesson for the rest of us? Well, for starters, pick your spouse wisely. Was Lamar a “wise” pick for Khloe? From the get-go? It is hard to make that judgment but from the outside looking in, he didn’t seem like the best she could have done. She seems to have settled a little bit there and so the lesson is that “settling” is almost guaranteed to lead to divorce ultimately.

C O – P A R E N T I N G

Who is better at co-parenting that Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick? Despite their messy personal relationship and all the other adult things they deal with, those two have never had a public spat about their children. And they continue to hang out and vacation together like a loving family unit.

That is why we have a whole section just dedicated to Kourtney in the first place. Because Kourtney is a real mom and she is able to maintain a healthy relationship with her ex Scott Disick, the father of her three children Reign, Penelope, and Mason.

Kourtney’slife is far from perfect except that she is very affluent. Money is great but it is not everything in life. So we do not judge her based on her bank account. Despite her bank account, we think Kourtney displays very good co-parenting skills with her ex and she appears to be a very good mom. She sets an example for other moms in the country that even if you and your ex are no longer sleeping together, it doesn’t have anything to do with your responsibility to your children. You still have to be parents and you have to be parents together or “co-parents” as we say. (Cooperative parents.)

To be fair, Kourtney had her mother Kris from whom she could base her own style of parenting because Kris Jenner is the original co-parenting queen in that family. When Kris married Bruce Jenner she had four children from a previous marriage and Bruce had a truck load of kids of his own. Kris had to co-parent with her ex, OJ Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian, after their divorce. And she had to work with Bruce so that their blended family (the kids from the Robert Kardashian marriage + the two kids she had with Bruce Kyle and Kendall + Bruce’s kids from previous marriages) would work. On some level it must have because all the kids are on good terms with each other and at one point, some of Bruce’s kids from previous marriages were even allowed on the KarJenner show.

What can we learn? From Kourtney and Kris is put the kids above all the adult nonsense because really it is not the kids’ fault that the adults are a bloody mess.

B L E N D E D    F A M I L I E S

The kardashians are the ultimate blended family. Starting with Kris who brought four children to the marriage when she and Bruce Jenner wed. He also brought several children from prior relationships. Then they had two children together, Kyle and Kendall. Together, all of these people had to get along and co-operate as one family unit. This could not be an easy task but the Kardashians make it look like a lot of fun!

Blended families are notoriously difficult to circumnavigate and, in fact, most don’t work out in American society. Sure it is romantic to think that there is this happy ending for everybody if they just do X, Y and Z. But the truth is and the harsh reality is, blended families are very difficult and most of them don’t work out.

The Kardashians’ blended family is in crisis at the moment but it wasn’t that the family itself was unable to blend. The fairytale imploded because Bruce Jenner, once the patriarch of this family, wanted to become a woman and later changed his name to Caitlin Jenner. That is to say that he no longer wanted to be the patriarch but a co-matriarch with Kris. Clearly, this was not going to work but no one should blame Kris. It was from Bruce. He was a selfish SOB and put himself above the entire family by making the choices that he did. So it is maybe a little bit unfair to use the Kardashians as an example of a failed blended family. Because in fact the blend worked. It was Bruce and his desire to be Caitlin that changed the deal. That was totally untenable and unworkable and a dealbreaker.

What can we learn from this? Well, blended families can work out, but not if daddy decides he now wants a sex change operation to become mommy. No amount of velcro will be able to hold that together. Sorry folks.


kim & kris