Don’t Project Our Trauma to the Children

I’m friends with a lot of women on the other side of divorce, that either share custody or try to co-parent the children they had together. This is a messy process that takes time to work through.  

Listen, as someone who’s gone through it, I get it. 

BUT HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR, we can’t project our trauma, resentment, frustration, etc onto the children. It’s unfair and highly inappropriate for their own mental health and need for a healthy relationship with the other parent who is not the “feelings” an ex has temporarily. 

I am so grateful to put the mother of my children on a high bar today, and always will try to see her in the best light.  It’s partly a truth, and partly strategic, because of my own awareness of the damage and confusion it can make in a child’s mind to be in the middle.
 

My mother was a saint in this area, so wise. 
My own father the first two years of my life was violent and had tendencies to erupt in anger. Once, he even threw me on my head for spilling Kool-Aid in my highchair.
 

Guess what? She never told me anything, until I was old enough to ask.
 

Why? 

Likely she was acutely aware of the significance of that bond, the power and capacity of any human to change, and how she would have possibly marked my perception of him forever based on a short-term window of time. 

When he disappeared about the time I was ten, she sat me down and said that anytime I wanted to reach out or know anything, she would tell me, but she wouldn’t unless I asked.  We had very emotionally mature talks early on. 

My mother could see into the future far enough to know it best for our relationship to in fact, NOT build a wedge between me and father, but try to be a bridge. 
Allow the children to form an opinion on the human today, or you risk scarring them far worse than whatever reason you have for being hurt, losing trust, or being pissed off.
 

Emotions are temporary, but the imprint on the child is forever.
 

This is to dads and moms, just something on my mind as I observe and ponder the world around me.   

What is the greatest gift we can give our children about the other parent? To stay neutral or positive, learn to see the best in that parent and energetically support the building of trust. Life is hard enough as it is and our children shouldn’t be burdened by adding our hurts onto the ones they’ve directly endured.  
Our healing benefits our children, and the world we all live in.

 

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