5th January 2022 at 2:29 pm #136560ISOPeaceParticipant
I’ve been out less than a year but many months. I moved out with the kids and they now call both houses home. I’ve spoken to my infant school aged kids about it a lot and have explained that the way Daddy behaved wasn’t ok, and you never have to accept behaviour that makes you feel bad, and that I didn’t feel safe living with Daddy. My youngest has said periodically “Mummy please come home to ….”, to which I explain that it’s not good for anybody when Daddy is so angry and I don’t feel safe. He then says “Daddy says he won’t be angry any more” and I then explain how he’s said that before etc. This morning he said “do you remember when we all lived together and we were happy?”. It’s just heart breaking. I don’t want my kids to spend their lives constantly remembering how awful it was, but they seem to have forgotten just how bad it was.
Does anyone have any advice on how to help young kids adjust? Am I expecting too much to soon? I’ve been considering play therapy, but I haven’t looked into the cost or local availability. Thanks xxxx
5th January 2022 at 2:59 pm #136562DarcyParticipant
Hi beautiful Angel… ISOPeace,
I can hear your heartbreak as I read your post
Firstly it sounds like you are doing a great job in guiding yourself and your children through your situation
Its not easy and it will take time
Like you say its still less than a year, it will take time for you all to adjust
Right now the children have very few new memories so they are going on what they have of the old … this will change and you will start to make new memories of your own with just the children, without your ex there, better, safer memories
Maybe the next time this comes up you could ask the children what new memories they would like to make … take photos and start a memory book … make it fun
Be careful as well, you never know how much of what your children are saying is being fed to them by your ex
Maybe through the school you could get some professional help and support for them… its always worth asking the question
Stay strong my darling, keep doing what you are doing and don’t forget to give yourself some self care in-between it all
Sending you continued love and support
6th January 2022 at 3:17 pm #136621ISOPeaceParticipant
Thank you for your reply Darcy. It is really helpful and has got me thinking about what I can do. I’m sure my ex is feeding them lies, as you suggest. I keep forgetting not to take what the kids say at face value. Sending love you too xxxx
6th January 2022 at 3:58 pm #136626Wants To HelpParticipant
My advice would be to try getting the children to focus on the fact they have two homes and two loving parents. Trying to explain to our children why we are no longer with the other parent is sometimes too grown up for them to understand, no matter how nicely we try to explain it. For your child to reply to you “Daddy says he won’t be angry any more” suggests to me that your ex may also be having conversations with the children about why you left and your child has said something along the lines of “mummy said she can’t live with you because you were always angry” and he may have replied “well mummy was wrong, and if mummy came back I wouldn’t be angry” for example. This could be that the child is trying to understand what went wrong and figure out a way of getting you back together. Sometimes we have to stick to fact that ‘mummy and daddy live in separate houses now but we both want you to be happy and we both love you’ sort of thing. Assure them you can still all be happy even though you don’t all live together.
I do remember I felt incredibly guilty that my son was to grow up without his parents together and I did everything I could to make the relationship work. I felt that I needed to explain to him why his mum and dad didn’t live together but knew that I couldn’t do that without pointing out his dad’s bad ways. I probably did tell him too much negative stuff about his dad, perhaps, subconsciously I wanted him to know what a horrible man his dad was and I wanted him to think of him that way too, but he didn’t see the bad in his dad like I did. He saw it later in life, but not as an infant/primary age child. If your child feels safe with dad then they won’t possibly understand how you didn’t feel safe with him, unless you could give examples, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want to give.
What we have to remember is that we left our abusers to protect ourselves and our children. We DO NOT have to justify to them why we left with great detail, or sometimes any detail at all. In some ways, the fact that your children don’t remember how bad it was is a good thing. If they can go to dad’s house happy and carefree with no trepidation about going then that is great for them. The relationships our children have with the abuser is often very different to the relationship we have with them. I found it very hard at the time to see my son go off for the weekend with this happy man who greeted him with open arms to run in to when I knew he was the same man who was making my life hell on purpose just because he could. I wanted my son to hate him as much as I did, but he didn’t.
You are doing great, keep on providing a safe, calm and loving home and you child/ren will thrive and get used to the fact they have two homes.
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