“We can fly there and get my Daddy.” A sweet little 4 year old said that to me last night. She knows her dad lives far away, but she doesn’t understand why. She’s still hopeful that one day he will come back and her parents will reunite.
I remember feeling that way when I was young. It didn’t make any sense to me why my parents were separated. It certainly wasn’t understood why I rarely got to see my father. One day they will get back together. That was my hope. It didn’t happen and now many years later, I understand why.
My son felt that same hope, after his dad and I separated. He was only 2 at the time and couldn’t put into words how he was feeling, but he didn’t have to. One day he reached over, grabbed his dad’s hand and placed it in mine. Then he looked up at both of us, with a big smile on his face. His hope was soon crushed, as he followed his dad out the door.
Many children suffer through the separation of their parents. However, if handled properly, the negative impact on the children can be significantly reduced. That requires both parents to be amicable. They must put their differences behind them and make the child their top priority.
Unfortunately, many times this is not the case. Divorces can become very ugly, especially when children are involved. Out of anger and resentment, one parent often attempts to limit their child’s time with the other. It is typically their form of revenge. Not only is that type of behavior immature, it’s also extremely selfish.
Of course there are always exceptions. Some parents need to be out of the picture for safety purposes. However, unless a couple falls into that category, they should never hinder the involvement of one another in the child’s life.
Unfortunately when they do, it usually falls on the father. Children need their fathers. There have been studies that claim (and I firmly believe) that the absence of a father can lead to poor behavior, higher rates of criminality and substance abuse. It takes an emotional toll on them. It can greatly affect their mental health, and the overall outcome of their life.
For the most part, I grew up without my biological father. Although I had step-fathers to help raise me, they weren’t my dad. There is a special bond between children and their biological parents, that no one else can take the place of.
Some parents choose to leave their children.
Some parents are forced out, but there are many others who choose to walk away from their children. Take for instance the little girl’s dad I mentioned at the beginning of this post. He simply left. He wasn’t forced to leave. In fact, he was asked to stay nearby, so that he could be a part of his daughter’s life. Unfortunately, he had better plans for himself. Plans that didn’t include her. Now she has to pay for his selfishness.
If a person is not ready for the responsibility of raising a child, then they should stay out of the bedroom. When they lack self-control, the child is the one who suffers.
I’m still around, just from a distance.
Children need you. A phone call every blue moon and a card in the mail is wonderful, but it is not sufficient.
It’s not about you.
Once we conceive a child, they should become our number one priority. Nothing should take precedence over them. No job, no relationship and no amount of money, is more important than that precious little soul that we have brought into the world.
Children are not just toys, that you buy and then throw to the side when you get bored with them. They are living beings. They feel hurt and pain. They know when they are being neglected. They know when they are not loved.
The pain that is caused by not having a parent, is a deep rooted pain. It doesn’t go away as they get older. It’s not an issue that they will overcome or even forget. It is a pain that resides deep within them, even when it’s not voiced.
If your child hasn’t had to experience this, then make sure they never have to. If they have, then it’s not too late to try again. No matter how old a child gets, most of them still desire that bond.
Don’t live with regrets, and don’t make them live with what ifs. Life is too short and your children are too important.
“We can fly there and get my Daddy. Then it will be me, my mommy and my daddy!”
Don’t parents see what they’re doing to their children?
You are right. They should be the first priority but sadly they are not for some people.
It is sad that people don’t realize this and they take their children for granted.
My parents got divorced in 2000….I was 21 at the time and it still affected me. I wasn’t really close to my father because I stayed away from him when I started college….he was physically and verbally abusive to me, my sister, and my mother. And im still affected by what he did to us. Divorce is painful. And ive been married for 8 years….but there have been times where I questioned if divorce would be the answer to our sometimes rocky marriage.
It sounds like in your case, the divorce may have been for the best. No one should have to live with someone who is abusive. I believe that every marriage is rocky from time to time. After all, we are truly cats and dogs trying to live under one roof. In my personal opinion, I think that most people could work their marriage out, if they both do their parts. However, there are some that can’t be worked out no matter what. Each situation is definitely unique.
At least you did what you could. You did your part. We can’t control the actions and choices of others unfortunately. It’s good that Mr. T is doing so well. Not all kids do.
Awesome post. I so totally agree. There is such a need for both parents to be present in a child’s life. I feel sad for the children that don’t have that.
Thank you. There is a need and most of the time, the reasons why are evident in the children.
No, many of them do not see what they are doing to their children. Or care. But then there are those…who do. And they do so fabulously. This was a great post and one that should be read by parents every where.
“Or care”…that’s right. Some just don’t care. That’s sad. I commend those who stick around and work as a team with the other parent. When couples separate it’s difficult, but it can be made much easier with the right attitudes and priorities.
That’s what I have always felt. You are still parents to that child. Regardless of whether or not you are spouses. I so admire the people who do everything in their power to not let their divorce/separation/break up affect the children. I have seen some amazing parenting coming from people who have divorced.
I also feel parents should NEVER put their children in the middle. My husband was in that situation as a child/teenager and even now as an adult, his parents still occasionally put him in the middle. It’s not a fun place to be…
It’s amazing how many parents do that to their children. Like in your husband’s case, they have no idea how they are permanently effecting their children.
We used to beg our mom to let us go see our dad. She always told us not today or not right now. She never told why not, we just never got to see him. Come to find out after talking with my dad when I was an adult, that my step-father had threatened his life if he ever came around. So my step-dad probably said the same to my mom if she ever took us near him. This was her way of protecting my dad, but not knowing that as a child still made me feel abandoned. It took me a long time to forgive my dad, but once I learned the whole story the forgiveness was very quick.
That must have been very hard to deal with as a child, but it’s so wonderful that your story had such a happy ending. I wish all children would be given that chance to learn the truth. So many live their entire lives with a lie and it causes so much unnecessary division between them and their parents. I’m glad you were able to learn the truth.