As mothers, we all want to do what is best for our children. We plan their meals, go to doctors’ appointments, talk to teachers and watch their sports at every opportunity. We want them to grow into healthy, happy and successful adults. After all, that’s why we became mothers, right?
And then sometimes, things go wrong and our plans for our children get lost in the shuffle. When families break and divorce happens, many of the parents who were so focused on what was in the best interest of the children change their tunes. Divorce casualties are often the children. Sadly some women and men turn their focus onto hurting the other parent and they use a weapon that they know will inflict the most pain… the children.
I hear it all the time. “He told my daughter that I don’t care about her because I had to get a job to make ends meet. Doesn’t he realize how much this is hurting her? My son told me that Daddy said that I don’t care about him because… ” You can fill in the blanks.
If you leave this site with only one thing, please let it be this: When you use your children as a weapon to hurt the other parent, you hurt your children more!!! When children are the divorce casualties, they are often emotionally abused. A parent who tries to alienate children from the other parent commits an immoral and cruel act. Even if the other parent has done things wrong, bringing the children into the happenings confuses and wounds them.
So many people tell the children some of the things that go on in divorce court. Some even show children documents and tell them about specific numbers regarding support, custody and visitation issues. This does nothing other than hurt children. Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. Children should not be involved in the issues. Children must be protected from the issues.
If a child asks a specific question and you understand that the other parent must have detailed either factually or erroneously with them, don’t get dragged into defending yourself. Try to do the best you can to put the child’s mind at ease but do not “badmouth” the other parent. Whether you want to believe this or not, children love both parents. They do not want to choose one parent over the other.
Sometimes children will say something negative about the other parent if they think they can gain the favor of the parent listening. If this happens in your situation, please don’t allow yourself to get caught up in demeaning or degrading the other parent. The only losers will be the children.
Photo: Carissa Rogers