The two oldest understand some of what is going on. I don't want to lie to them, hurt them, or give them too much info. How do I tell them enough for them to ';get it'; without making their dad out to be a villain or also without making it sound like it's my or their fault?Any advice on how to best tell my kids (9,7,4) that we are leaving their bipolar dad because he won't get help
The most painful and difficult issue to consider when thinking of ending a marriage is always the children. No parent wants to be a source of unhappiness to their children, whom they love more than life itself, and therefore the guilt that accompanies discussions about breaking up can be devastating.
Children want to see their parents happy. They feel responsible for making their parents happy, and believe me, they know when you aren't, no matter how good you think you are hiding the truth from them. If you stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of your children, I believe you will be causing them more emotional harm than if you divorced. They will feel responsible for your sacrifice, and this puts tremendous pressure on a child. ';I stayed for your sake'; is no favor.
I am a Human Relations and Personal Growth Counselor. I have worked with grown-up children and found the following to be true: The children whose parents divorced and found love and happiness, either alone or with new partner, grow up feeling good about themselves and their parents. They have a healthy attitude toward love and relationships because they had positive role models for loving themselves and making love work. In contrast, some of the most unhappy people I have worked with are grown-ups whose parents stayed together in passionless, dead relationships, colored with suppressed anger and resentment.
Your job as a parent is to know what's best for your child, whether or not your child agrees with your decision. When your little girl asks if she can eat ice cream for dinner, and you respond ';No!'; she may cry and claim that you are mean. Because you know that ice cream doesn't comprise a healthy meal, you are able to stick to your decision in spite of her tears. In your heart, you know you are making this decision for her own good.
This is the same attitude you must have when deciding the future of your relationship. Yes, your children will cry when you tell them you are getting divorced or leaving their Dad. But as they grow older and learn to see you as people, and not just parents, they will develop compassion for your situation and understanding about your decision. They will realize that you were not just doing it for your own good, but theirs as well.
You owe it to your children to work very hard on your marriage, and do everything you can to make it work. But if you come to the point where you realize that the marriage cannot work, then you owe it to your children to separate from your partner, and free yourself to find the love you deserve, and the relationship they can one day look up to.
ravishingVAny advice on how to best tell my kids (9,7,4) that we are leaving their bipolar dad because he won't get help
I don't think you can do it without them trying to blame you....The best thing you can do is tell them that Daddy loves them but he's sick and needs to get some help, and for some reason that you can't figure out, he's not getting the help he needs and you think it is best for the four of you to move on while Daddy struggles with his problem.
Good Luck, I feel for you.
my dad was an alcoholic and my mom left him when I was 5 years old..
I remember my mom taking me to the park and holding my hand and telling me that: '; daddy needs to get some help,
and I want you to know that you can still see him whenever you want. It's just me and daddy need to take a little break ';recess'; for a while. and then she left my dads number taped to the phone in case I ever wanted to talk to him I could.
Then I had supervised visits with him whenever my mom would let me.. and she took me out to ice cream :)
Just tell them that U and their father have fallen out of love, but that U and he still love them....that way neither of U can be held as the villain. Kids are very bright, they may feel a little resentment but eventually that will pass.
Just make sure that U both share your kids equally....I know because I have been there as a child and as someone who fell out with my kids mother.
The kids will feel it when U do tell them...be assertive in a gentle manner....make sure that their father gets a word in as well.
I wish U luck for the coming future, your kids will adjust.
just tell them that mommy and daddy arent getting along right now (and wont b living together), and that both of u love the kids very much...
dont disclose about the bipolar disorder...they are just young kids and wont understand...
and to make things good make sure that both parents are active in their growing up even tho u guys arent together...
Send them to a child psychologist. A trained professional can help them to vent and to talk about their fears or worries.
I had my child see a really good child psychologist for about 8 months when I separated from my ex husband. Sessions were twice a week and I truly believe they helped my child deal with what was happening.
Good luck. Get some help for yourself, too. We all need outside help occasionally.
I would suggest you make an appointment with your husband's former psychiatrist and pose these questions to him...also their pediatrician can advise you.....good luck.
I would tell them together..right now we cant stay with daddy because he is not well and needs some time alone..YES we will still see him but right now daddy is sick and needs to be alone...
THATS what I told my kids when we left
Tell them, ';Sit back and watch how mom handles this. Pack your things, we're leaving that nut case! And you KNOW he's nuts. You're not deaf and blind.';