Your husband has left and you’re scared, hurt and angry. There’s no one around to vent to except the kids. You’re patience is short. The kids have you stressed to the hilt. Though you told yourself you wouldn’t, you are taking some of those feelings put on your kids. It’s important to remember that during a divorce having the kids feel safe and secure should be a priority. Highly anxious children have difficulty concentrating in school, behaving at home, and can have serious health issues. Here are some thoughts that are better left unsaid to help your kids get through this very trying time.
• If your father loved you he wouldn’t have left: You want your kids to feel loved and safe during a divorce. Stressing everything that would help that is essential. They love both their parents. This is a statement purposely said to try to destroy their relationship with their father. Your child can love you and still love their father too.
• If you love me you won’t go: It’s visitation weekend and the child support hasn’t come. Money is tight and the fight for it is bitter. Don’t put your kid in the middle of the battle. Don’t interfere with visitation unless there is a real concern for safety. Kids need to see and spend time with both parents.
• You look just like your father: Since your feelings towards Dad are so negative now it would be easy for a child to assume that you do not like the way they look just like you don’t like Dad. This destroys their self esteem and makes it hard for them to face the world. If their Mom doesn’t like the way they look why should anyone else.
• You’re the man of the house now: You’re child is not a man just because Dad left. He is still just a child. Expecting him to pick up where Dad left off will be frightening and overwhelming. He may begin to bully the younger kids. Just because he’s the oldest son does not mean he’s ready to take Dad’s place.
• It’s your fault that Dad left: Needless to say this is a real no-no. Children always wonder if they played a part in a parent’s leaving. And the ones with bad behavior really fear this. Don’t ever place the blame for the divorce on any child no matter what they have done. This is between Mom and Dad. Keep it that way.
When you are angry it’s hard to not say the first thing that comes into your head. But it’s important to realize that your kids are just as scared as you and it’s your responsibility to reassure them that they are loved and safe. So think twice before letting your tongue get the best of you. The scars they get now will stay forever.