Parenting Series-Never Talk Bad About Your Ex To Your Child; You End Up Looking Bad Not Them.

When I was little my father used to see my brother and I every once in a while on the weekends, whenever he didn’t have a date I guess. My mom, although hesitant to let us go with him for very long due to his lifestyle, did her best to make it so we could still have a relationship with him. She made the smart decision to let us hear all of his garbage and trusted that as we grew older we would sift through it all and be able to identify what was true and what was not. When I say garbage I mean his stories about why he didn’t pay child support. For some reason he felt the need to explain to two little boys why he could not or would not pay support to our mom. 

At the time, I had no idea that he was just using his kids to ease his own mind and make himself feel justified about what he was not doing for us. He would say things like ” You boys know the reason I cant give your mom any money is because you would never see any of it. Your mom would be buying fur coats and expensive jewelry.” We heard things like this all throughout our childhood when he was not in jail. It was always something my mom did that prevented him from paying her support, according to him. Looking back I guess I see it would have been hard for him to pay support anyhow, since he did not want to work! 

If there ever was a person who took full advantage of his children’s age and vulnerability it was my dad. He really slept well after seemingly convincing us that he was the victim in all this and my mom ( who worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over our head) was somehow taking advantage of him. It really is quite pathetic now that I think on it again. He actually had us believing it for a short period between ages 10-12 or so. I remember barging into my mom’s room after a visit with my dad and accusing her of spending all of my dad’s money. She just looked at us and didnt really respond, although she had every right to get us back into reality and tell us what a liar my father was. She opted for the high road, and in the end my brother and I caught on to what really as going on and we addressed the lies with my father later in life. Of course, not having changed a bit, he just proceeded to move away from my brother and I to avoid these type of inquiries.

Talking bad about my mom may have got us off track for a few short years but in the big picture, we saw right through the attempt to discredit our mother and totally lost respect for him. My brother and I were not a rare case, either. This type of immature behavior goes on in homes today all over the world. Parents get mad at there spouses, ex-spouses and actually start telling their little children about how bad their other parent is. How sad it is that they are putting the child in such an uncomfortable position, and an unfair position. Whats more, is the parent who runs their mouth is usually doing it out of resentment for the spouse and the child has no place in it. The selfish idea that I can get back at my spouse by using my child as a pawn and an instrument to hurt them is  horrendous, but it happens everyday. Its happened to me and may have happened to you. 

The message for today is simple but critical. Please parents, keep the immature and childish vitriol away from the innocent children. If for no other reason than the fact that you will always come out the loser in the end, always. Your children may buy into your games now, for a short while, but believe me they will lose all respect for you when they figure out what you did and how you used them and their vulnerability to try and hurt their other parent. It isn’t worth it. After all what good does it do anyone to start spreading dirty laundry?  Has anything good ever come out of it, ever? Keep the negative talk about your ex, or your current spouse to yourself, and leave your children out of it, better yet leave everyone else out of it, Its between you and them and the only motive for spreading it all out is a selfish one because nothing good ever comes from gossip. Until we have it all together in our own lives , how about we leave our nose out of others’ business all together. Agreed?

The skill for the skill bank today to teach Is Problem Solving –

Since we talked about making good decisions with our children today, lets teach them how to arrive at good solutions as they make decisions. Here is a great formula to use and easy to teach and remember. Its called the S.O.D.A.S method. 

Situation- Identify problem

Options- list a few options

Disadvantages- list a few disadvantages for each of your options

Advantages- list a few advantages for each of your options

Solution- Review the above and come up with your best solution.

So, when your child has trouble figuring out whether to skip homework and play video games, they can always do a quick SODAS on a piece of paper to determine if the consequences would be worth the behavior. I use SODAS many times on the run in my head for daily choices I need to make, its very helpful! 

Happy parenting and as always, your money back if not satisfied- so give it a shot!

tj

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Published by: www.dontlabelmykid.wordpress.com

Social Worker - 20+ years. Experienced with mental and behavioral health as well as alternative education, juvenile justice, addictions treatment also. Currently working with agencies and insurers on changing the way all the systems in these work, using my methods and model of treatments for all the above. We have a horrible system in place our success rates in treatment are 20 -35% and we pay doctors to keep us sick. We also have a problem with drug companies paying doctors to write for dangerous meds to even kids, all in the name of $.. I plan on changing that and in the meantime have been aggressively working at using this site as a platform to offer coaching, counseling and many other services in several languages..oh, and services that actually work! There's a new concept.. I use models I have developed and used with success rates more like 75-85%. Only programs I personally put together and ran in my 20 years in field... Please join the incredible group of followers here as very exciting things are happening. We currently have followers in 60 countries. Most of all, I promise to never let you leave my watch still suffering. My goal has always been to educate, dial in the least restrictive, least expensive , most successful and timely treatment possible. I want everyone to know that our country is a pharmaceutical playground and there ARE cures for things like cancer, liver disease, parkinsons and many more..as a matter of fact they are being cured ( not symptoms treated forever) but actually cured of diseases in many countries who don't allow drug companies to dictate laws.. Money is the only reason we are not using the same healthy and safe natural remedies that God put on this planet. Am I saying that our healthcare system is aware of cures but watches millions die slow painful deaths all in the name of money? Well, I will have to think about it - UMM- YES! I am saying that. If you have not read my homepage please do..let me tease you with a tidbit to get you there... Did you know that the USA is one of only 2 countries in entire world that even ALLOWS any drug companies to put an ad for drugs on television? Hmm. Why does the entire world protect their own, and make sure swindlers cant twist their minds an manipulate them into buying snake oil from drug companies..and why do they make legal the natural plants that heal cancer and so much more? I think you get it... Click Follow... Tj ( I am available for consultation on a case by case basis first come first serve and will work within your abilities to reimburse) contact me tim@dontlabelmykid.com

Categories At Risk Families, For mental health workers, Labelling Kids, Motivation, Positive Reinforcement, Self worth, Teen Identity Disorders, Why do we think and believe what we do?Leave a comment

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