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#187246 - 10/15/07 01:26 PM What to tell the children?
honey girl Offline

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear All,
So as I indicated a week or so ago, my BF is going through a really rough stretch. It's the first tough one he has had since he officially started living here, and since his major way of acting out is to disappear, my younger daughter (who is now 11) cannot help be aware of the situation.
Her response is a mixture of curiosity, sympathy, and caution. She doesn't understand why I would tolerate such behavior, and has told me that if he keeps it up I should break up with him. (Out of the mouths of babes, eh?)
To be sure, I am very concerned about the living example that all this presents to her. On the other hand, I do think that he has reached a sort of breaking point--or breakthrough, depending--which will potentially lead to a lot of progress again. I am going to post about that in another thread.
She's a wise little girl with a lot of compassion, but she's also, understandably, concerned about me and about herself. I don't want to lie to her and yet I think some of the reality is too harsh for her to hear.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance....

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

#187272 - 10/15/07 04:03 PM Re: What to tell the children? [Re: honey girl]
indygal Offline

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
honey girl,

please just make sure she knows and completely understands his behavior has nothing to do with her. i honestly don't understand why kids always think everything is their fault, but they do seem to often enough. since she proffered an opinion that you shouldn't tolerate this it does seem she would want to know why you are.

whatever you do decide to share, you can also let her know accepting people into one's family means (or usually) a kind of "warts and all" sort of situation - that is - maybe she won't understand everything there is to know about him but she has to trust in your ability to decide what's right.

all the best,

my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

#187312 - 10/15/07 08:49 PM Re: What to tell the children? [Re: indygal]
mmac Offline

Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
honey girl,
my opinion might differ slightly, but here goes.
As a parent, your first duty/responsibility is to your children.
I understand your wanting to "help" him make this journey, however if your 11 yr old is aware and concerned that should be a flag for you to acknowledge. Make sure her world is as safe as you wish his could be. Its so hard watching someone you love be in this much pain and unfortunately, it will get worse before it ever gets better. Now is a great time (if you haven't before) to have a family meeting and advise, (age appropriate , of course) on what is occurring. It is also time to set boundaries of what you will and will not accept in the household. This will set an example for your daughter that she will take with her always. Children learn from watching how adults handle situations in life. What message do you want her to take into her future relationships???
either way you are in for a ride....i wish you peace in whatever you decide.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.


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