Katrina - posted on 10/11/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )
I am a divorcee (for all the right reasons including varying types and degrees of abuse of me and my three daughters). The father of my children has supervised visits. Lately the children have been making little comments and digs about their father, any thing from "let's cut him out of the picture we have from when we were babies" to "I won't tell you where I'm going because I don't want you to just show up." Some are in his presence.
I am trying to teach my girls to honor their father because I feel that is what I should do as a Christian. I am concerned that they are sensing the apparent hypocrisy of teaching them to honor a man I no longer honor.
I suspect I need wisdom in discerning the source in them, whether it be some level of anger because of semi-suppressed memories or pre-teen hormonal shifts. I probably also need better control of my feelings (I feel like I gave him a second-chance through a lawyer-brokered custody arrangement that involves supervision that he would not have gotten had I chosen the court-based custody battle he tried bullying me into. I also feel like he often endangers his second chance by the way he continues to treat me sometimes in front of them or in their hearing).
What do I tell them? I've been honest that he and I will not be back together because I didn't like the way he treated them or me, but I don't go into specifics because what they don't remember I don't want them to remember. How do I teach them to honor and respect a man that they see acting in ways that don't jive with the teachings my mother and I have been giving them?