Four Things Children Wish They Could Say About Your Divorce

Four Things Children Wish They Could Say About Your Divorce

Children need love, time, and parents who give them plenty of both.  Children know what they need but cannot express these necessities in words.  Additionally, in the tense environment of divorce, children often do not feel safe expressing their needs.  If they could, this is what they would say:

“I am not a Weapon”

hand-grenadeThroughout history and even into the present, children have been forced into military service. This typically happens when a conflict is ongoing and desperate.  Most disturbing to me is when a desperate faction force children into carrying bombs or even acting as suicide bombers.  This is horribly extreme.

But on a certain level, I feel like some divorced parents do a similar thing to their own children.  The parents are so bitter and exhausted from their divorce and ongoing conflict with their ex-spouse, they resort to using their precious children to attack each other.  Not an actual physical attack, rather and emotional one.  A bitter parent may say negative things about the other parent to the child.  One parent may instruct the child to say certain things to the other parent.  One parent may refuse to speak directly to the other parent, forcing the child to act as a messenger between them.  And so on.

Your conflict with your ex-spouse is YOUR conflict.  Your child is not a weapon or tool for you to use to get what you want.

“Your “Ex” is my Mommy/Daddy.  You may not love them anymore, but I still do.”

parent-child-fist-bump Allow your children the space and ability to love both their parents.  Your ex-spouse may be a real piece of work, maybe even a real jerk.  It doesn’t matter, your child will be better off with love in their heart (even for a jerk), than if they are full of anger and hurt.  Make peace and love a possibility for your child no matter what the situation.

“Be friendly, please.”

Remember the shark pledge from Finding Nemo: Repeat after me, “Your ex-spouse is your friend.”  Just like the sharks try and fight their natural instincts to eat fish, you will have to fight for peace between you and your ex-spouse.  This can be especially hard when your ex-spouse is an idiot.  However, idiot ex-spouses are not good enough justification to be an idiot yourself and cause your child more pain.

“Don’t try and convince me to hate my parent.”  

One rule that is easy to remember because there are no exceptions is:  NEVER SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S PARENT if your child will hear it.

tar

Avoid it at all costs.  Such comments are like sticky tar passed from one hand to the next.  This negativity will only confuse and hurt your child.  I know you want to protect your child from the ‘evil designs’ of your jerk ex-spouse, but it will backfire on you.  You will be successful in teaching your child to hate their parent – but that includes YOU!

If there are safety issues with your ex-spouse, YOU find a way to fix them.  Safety is YOUR responsibility, not your child’s.

Remember your own hurt, anger, and pain when severing the relationship with your ex-spouse.  Why would you want your child to feel the same?

Good parents don’t want their children to hurt.  Good parents will NOT say bad things about the other parent (and/or step-parent).

Don’t pass that filth on to your children.