Divorce and the Weaponization of Youngsters

Too often parents arm their children during and after a divorce. They use their children to try to cause pain to the other person.

I’ve always seen a lot of westerns. There was a common scene in almost every western I saw. See if you can remember seeing this in a movie:

The bad guy grabs the good lady when he returns to a corner. The good guy with his gun drawn calmly says to the bad guy: “Let them go, Slim. This is between you and me. The lady has nothing to do with it. “Sounds familiar? In fact, I’ve seen this exact scene in a number of film genres.

It’s the same feeling we should use when we get divorced: “Let her go. This is between you and me. The children have nothing to do with it. “

Unfortunately the opposite happens. We’re getting a divorce. We are angry. We are hurt. We are confused. We are repentant. We then use our children to get revenge or hurt the other person. At such moments we should think of those juicy westerns or goofy action films and “let the kids go.”

How divorce causes some of us to arm our children

Too often we arm our children during and after a divorce. We use our children to try to inflict pain on the other person. I’ve seen it from women and I’ve seen it from men. From my experience, and I can only speak of the things that I have seen, it is far more common for women to do so.

In my new book A Father’s Love: Beliefs in the Power of a Father’s Love (Palmetto Publishing, 2020), there is a section where fathers answer a number of questions about their relationship with their children. In some cases, men responded that they love their children but have not seen them in years. Years.

I followed with the obvious question: Why? In most cases, it was because the children’s mother was angry and the things the father did were insufficient to get him to see his children or to punish him for his previous actions. In other words, the mother used the children to punish the man for what he had or had not done. This is called and shouldn’t be a weapon against children.

For all those selfish, insecure, vengeful people who believe that it is okay to arm our children and hold someone else’s children from him because you will not condone his behavior, because you cannot trust him, or because he is a bad one Father is I tell you you should never arm your children.

Let me be clear If a father molested or abused the children, you have the right to ensure that your children are protected from this despicable behavior. However, neither parent has the right to prevent the other parent from seeing their children, since the other parent does not do what you say when you say how you say.

Holding your child back by a parent does more harm than good

Perhaps the other parent has a substance abuse problem and you don’t want to expose your children to this environment. I get it. Perhaps the other parent has done some heinous things and you feel a need to protect and protect the children. I get it. However, if this is because they failed to give child support, did not pay child support, or did not give you enough money to help, I would encourage you to look for other means to address this issue.

Holding your children back from their father (or mother) ends up hurting in ways that you obviously cannot fathom. Withholding children from their father (or mother) deprives these children of a necessary building block for their own identity. To be so selfish and selfish that you hold back children because you are hurt, because you are angry, or because you are forcing certain behavior is just wrong and it hurts two of the three entities deeply.

No father (or mother) is perfect. We all screw up and repeat at times. For many of us, the only thing we have in this world that makes us live better and do better is our children. The last thing we need is for them to attack or weaponize us.

You may allow them to see the other parent, but only after you’ve filled them with poison about the other parent. They tell them grown-up things about adult relationships that children don’t need to hear and that they can’t adequately process. Let the adult conversations stay among the adults. Stop poisoning your children against their own parents.

Remember that your child has two parents

Remember that 50% of the child is you and 50% of the child is the other parent. Stop making your kids hate half of themselves!

I understand again if this parent really represents the potential danger to the well-being of your children. But not the made-up kind that you have in mind, but real, actual, potentially long-term harmful dangers. Not “your father is a womanizer, so there’s no telling how many women will come and go while you’re there.” Not “your father didn’t pay enough money to help me support you so he can’t see you.” Not that you treated me badly so I won’t let you see your kids. ‘

When I say danger, I am referring to someone who has molested, physically, verbally, or emotionally abused their own child. If this happens, the other parent needs help and let your children’s clinical professional determine if, when and how this door can be reopened.

In short, I would tell you that too many people use their children to hit back the person who hurt them. Stop it. Children are too important to our future and too important to our present for us as farmers to use them in our games of revenge. Stop it.

Adults have to act like adults. Adults must always keep the well-being of their children at the center of their thoughts and actions. Our children need us to act like adults and do the right thing. If you have been able to make these kids 100% yourself, then don’t share them. However, if you need help, stop using them as weapons. Stop accessing them using a tiered checklist.

Nobody should have to ask to see their own children. I don’t care if they don’t behave the way you want them to. Nobody should spend years without their children if they want their children in their life. Nobody deserves their children to be withheld from them. It’s cruel and heartless.

I encourage parents to put their feelings aside and work through their differences for the benefit of the children. You don’t have to “be together” to bring it together! What’s best for the kids? If you think it is best for them not to see the other person because the other person is not a good person, who are you to make that judgment? At some point your children will have to deal with the 50% of these “not good people” and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. So stop trying to punish your children’s other parents and think about the harm you are doing to this child who, despite your best efforts, one day wants answers directly from that other parent or a relationship with them.

Do not use your children as an ointment when injured. Do not arm your children against 50% of yourself. Stop it. Despite what you think of the other person, think more about your children. They deserve, no, they need a relationship with both parents to feel complete. This is true no matter how bad you think the other person is.

Children should have the advantage of being loved by both parents. Yes, both parents will from time to time let the children down and neither of you can do anything to prevent it. You cannot protect your children from yourself. Instead of shielding them, help them grasp the entirety of who they are, then provide guard rails and guidance to ensure they make the right decisions about who they want to become.

But whatever you do, stop arming your children against someone who is just as much their parent as you!

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