Mitch's world came crashing down the day his wife left him and their three children aged 14, 12 and 10 years. A busy physician, Mitch had little down-time and therefore few real friends. So, facing this crisis meant he didn't really have anyone to talk to. Whenever there was a slow moment at work he would wear his co-workers out talking on and on about his failed marriage until they could take no more and began avoiding him. The only ones who could not walk away from him were his children.
What happens when you unload on a child?1. They can't get away. They feel that they have to listen.
2. You are berating the other parent they love. It really hurts their feelings and
they have no power to make you stop.
3. It is possible that both parents have been making negative comments about
each other to the children, so they have been getting a double whammy!
4. You are trying to force your kids to take sides.
5. They are too young to process adult issues and they may become stressed because they
don't know who to help, or how to help. The fact is they they are incapable
6. Unhappiness between parents makes kids fearful and insecure.
7. Kids often feel they are personally responsible for their parents' issues and
unless they are told otherwise, this misconception really burdens them.
Successful ways of dealing with grief concerning adult issues1. Find trusted adults/friends to talk to and leave your children completely out of the
2. Seek professional help if necessary.
3. If there is to be a parental break up, then the children should be told
tactfully and by both parents if possible. Kids don't need to know all
the details but they do need to be assured that:
a) You will both remain part of their lives, and that one will not disappear.
b) You have made arrangements for them to see both of you regularly.
c) That they will or will not be remaining in the same house. They need
to know exactly who is going where and for how long.
4. Get professional counseling for your children. They often won't tell you
how they really feel because they don't want to cause you any more worry
and they feel they can't tell you how much they love and miss their absent
How do you keep a peaceful, harmonious home?It is the parents' responsibility to provide a peaceful, safe and loving home for themselves
and their children. Effective ways would be to:
Create strong family values that are agreed on by both parents. Values might include
such traits as respectfulness, honesty, forgiveness and commitment.
Alleviate tension. When tension arises, it is vital to deal with it quickly so bad feelings
are not left to fester. If issues cannot be solved, then seek professional help to preserve
Monitor the mood of the home. A chilly atmosphere or one where parents
and/or kids are arguing constantly needs addressing. Find the cause and sort it out
before it gets to the point of no return.
Nothing beats living in a caring and loving environment.
Written by Sally Burgess