Kids & Swearing

Monica - posted on 05/22/2012 ( 62 moms have responded )

25

0

3

What should I do? My daughter gave my Boyfriend a letter that was so horrendous that he wouldn't read it. I saw it & ripped it up & threw it away. I later took it out & taped it together. I told her to appologize for it but my Boyfriend told her not to worry because he understood how she is really mad at him. He asked her to explain why & she feels that he destroyed her Family. This is so untrue but she has this in her mind & her Father has done nothing to correct the situation. Nothing is getting better & actually is getting worse.
Her Father always sweared & cursed & told him not to around the kids as they are like sponges. He didn't care. Wel,l this Letter was as though he wrote it. Horrendous. The insults were so bad that it was one of those moments that you could never think that your child would ever put you in where you were disgusted with them. I never raised her to be that way. She is a great kids but really hurting. I do a lot for her. Perhaps too much. How should I decipline her? Take her phone away? Ground her? Its kind of hard as she is a Teenager now. Any suggestions?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 05/22/2012

3,562

36

3907

I think this is a bigger issue than just her swearing and saying terrible things in a letter. Obviously your daughter is unhappy, and it sounds like she has tried to tell you this in other ways, and this time, she has your attention. After all, you talk about it getting worse, so obviously it is something she has tried to talk to you about in the past?

You can blame her father all you want, but that isn't going to help. I am not saying that her letter, language and insults are okay, because they are not, but just punishing her for that is NOT going to achieve anything if the underlying issue isn't addressed, so it would be pretty pointless.

Have you considered family counselling to get to the bottom of this issue, and identify WHY she hates your boyfriend so much? I don't think it is fair to ignore her feelings. Instead, she needs to find more constructive ways to discuss them with you as they arise. But at the moment, you seem to be dismissing how she feels. Just because it is untrue to you doesn't mean she doesn't believe what she is saying.

Yes, she does owe an apology for the insults, and I would certainly discuss with her that this is not an acceptable way to sort out your grievances, but in all honesty, I can understand why she may have resorted to this if she was being ignored when she has raised it previously.

And stop using dad as the excuse. Sorry, I have a son who visited his dad every other week, and that man despises me (right down to death threats towards my new family), but my son NEVER came home with this level of hate towards my current husband, no matter what his father said, he has a great relationship with his step dad. As long as you use him as the excuse, you are also dismissing that this may very well be how your daughter feels. Give her some credit that she can figure out how she feels all on her own, without her dad influencing that. Teenagers are quite capable of coming to their own conclusions, right or wrong, and she probably has her reasons. You need to listen to them, whether you like them or not. Only THEN can you hope to move forward.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/23/2012

13,264

21

2015

Monica, hon, I'm sorry to have to say this, but yes, your boyfriend DID have something to do with the family breaking up.

Your daughter may have expressed that she was unhappy with her dad, and wished he'd leave rather than neglect her. But, you actually did the leaving, and the timing of the weekend away with the girls (that blended into meeting up with this other guy that you'd known forever, and the girls also knew) is why she sees HIM as the reason for the breakup.

Had you taken the girls on the weekend, explained things to them, cleanly split with their dad BEFORE hooking up with your best friend, they would be more understanding, and willing to accept the new relationship.

See, to a 13 yo, that man DID break up her family. The fact that the family dynamic was not there to begin with stopped mattering to her when the actual break up happened.

To give you the kid's perspective from the adult side: My parents split when I was 13. My dad had an affair, and mom told him that she couldn't put up with that. Dad agreed, and it was a very amiable split. EXCEPT that his new girlfriend was the same that he'd had the affair with. She was the reason (I thought) that my parents had split. I didn't know the rest of the story about how things really were between my folks, and so what I saw was this woman that took my daddy.

It is going to take your daughters a good, long time to get over this feeling, and the only thing you can do is try to understand her. I do now get along with the other woman, but I made her life a living hell while she and my dad were married. I'm now older, and wiser, and know that I was wrong. And, I've apologised to her. But, that, in a nutshell, is how your daughter is feeling.

If you'd only been able to separate the events...this would have been easier for all. We're not trying to say that you're a horrible mom, so please don't take it that way! But, from a 13 YO perspective, you rushed it.

I wish you the best of luck with everything. Perhaps it would be good to back off on the relationship just a bit, and let things develop naturally between the kids and the boyfriend

Sienna - posted on 05/22/2012

77

0

17

How old is she?

I would make the punishment fit the crime, explain to her in full detail (and calmly) why it's not your boyfriends fault that the family broke up, make her write an apology letter, to you (apologizing for behaving so poorly) to your boyfriend, and to her father. take away her phone and don't specifically blame it all on the letter, because then she could resent your boyfriend more, whenever you talk to her, tell her the reason for her punishment is because of her disgusting language and he poor treatment of others. explain to her that talking to people like that in unacceptable and until she can learn to treat EVERYONE kindly she cant leave the house or use her phone or the computer.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2012

21

11

0

Rushing into a new relationship is a classic way of avoiding the pain of losing a long term relationship, even a relationship that is dysfunctional is one you need to take time to get over. This is also true of your daughters, not just you. Since you are asking for advice, mine would be to be on your own without a man in the picture long enough for all of you to get over the breakup of your family.

Jodi - posted on 05/23/2012

3,562

36

3907

Monica, you keep saying you ARE listening, but you aren't really. You are hearing her words, but you aren't actually listening. In your post you continue to tell us about all you do for her, continue to blame her dad for her attitude, and continue to dismiss her feelings.

Think about it from the perspective of a 13 year old. Your boyfriend DID have something to do with your marriage break up in her eyes. Stop dismissing her feelings about that. I DO understand that from your perspective he didn't, but she is 13 and angry. She has every right to feel upset about your family situation. She didn't get to choose. Was this matter discussed in the counselling you say you had?

"Here where I live, the other parent has to give permission for the the child to go seek professional help. My Ex thinks they are all dummies & that they will try to convince one to see it like they want so when my Psychologist called him she had to promise him that she would not do that. I know that if they came to him & said this is what they told us, he would not be agreeing. "

I am confused. Psychologists don't tell people how to think, that's not the way they work. Psychologists help you figure that out for yourself. And where do you live that you must have permission of both parents?

62 Comments

View replies by

Barbara - posted on 10/17/2012

153

0

19

First of all, does your boyfriend live with you? How old is your daughter? If he is living with you she may feel as though her life has been invaded. She apparently wants mom and dad back together, feels the boyfriend has jeopardized that fantasy and wants him GONE. Having not read the letter, I can't comment on that. If she was expressing feelings about the boyfriend, why not use that as a springboard for communication between you and her, and leave your boyfriend out of it. If she was just being vile and insulting, maybe it would be helpful to know why she feels that way. She is a kid who, assuming she's under 17 or 18, may look like a 'grown up' but really isn't there yet. It sounds to me that she is very confused about your relationship with her dad and now the new man in your life. I'm sure I would be outraged if my daughter did this, but in trying to figure out why and what caused it, I'd rather be supportive than critical. Your boyfriend is a big boy, he can take care of himself and get over this. She is still a kid that needs your understanding and support.

Jill - posted on 06/07/2012

4

5

0

It sounds as though you're having the same problems as i did. My daughter who is now 15 has always hated my boyfriends, although the last one she had good reason to. She gave my present partner a really hard time but as time has gone on she has started to come round, bit by bit and she probably still wouldn't admit to it. have you thought that it may be something to do with her age? Hormones etc and it certainly won't help if her father is being unsupportive. I think you are doing all the right things for your family and that if your girls continue to see their father treating you in that way they will eventually see that you handled the situation perfectly. After all your daughter has already expressed a wish to stay with you, maybe she feels you need to be protected (as with my daughter) if you were in an abusive relationship with their father she will have picked up on it and although she may find it difficult to know how to deal with her new situation, she will eventually accept it and come to realise that she is much better off. Our children learn from the way we handle things. She should be very proud to have such a well balanced mum. My situation took about 3 years to get to where we are now, we don't live with my partner but they do have a relationship now. Good luck

Christian - posted on 06/01/2012

15

0

0

Monica,
I like how u show ur girls that u have the upper hand and that u understand what they are saying. I respect u for that. Now days these children need their parents to be parents and not their friend. This is how children loose thier tongues with me. They cross that parent and child line. When they think they can talk to me like I was they homey off the street. Ugh no!!! My mom didn't play that and she don't now! Me callin my mom by her first name teeth knocked out the mouth by mommy. U call mommy mommy and daddy daddy respect! I can tell u if I hand my mom an note like that I would b knocked in to next week! I agree with u on some of the techniques u are u using some I wouldn't but that u! That's ur child u raise them how u see fit. My mom and grandma were old school. We can only make suggestions are just a simple statement just to make u smile. :) if the gf is reaching out to u and wanna chat by all means chat b an adult u ain't got to like her but be the better person. When ur daughters see that u are being the peace maker or the better person they will follow suit. Hope everything work out for u!! Remember smile!!!

Monica - posted on 06/01/2012

28

0

1

I really didn't want any trouble between all of you. I am taking everything that you are saying to heart. I thank you.
I never hide anything so everything that I have written is the truth. My BF never helped me make my decision to leave my Ex. He actually had told me for years to do everything you can to save my Marriage. The only problem is, the other person needs to want that too. He ingnored my requests.
I am on great terms with my child to date. We talked a lot last weekend & I'm not mad at her for her feelings but just disappointed for how she worded it. They know my stance with bad language. I'm not naive & know that all kids swear.
I did however find out some interesting stuff. My younger daughter left her Blackberry Playbook on the table & I hadn't seen it as it was a gift from her Dad. I turned it on to check it out & saw her email was open. I saw regular emails from family but what caught my eye was an email from the Girlfriend. Now I have never met her even though I wrote to her introducing myself & asking her that if at all possible, I would love to meet her as she is spending a lot of time with my girls. She never responded & actually blocked me. Any parent would be curious to know why she is contacting her so I read the email. Found out that they went on a cruise and that they are getting a dog. That's their business but what struck me as very odd & angered me was the fact that she was writing this email as though she was Mommy. Saying, "you should see Daddy, he's doing this..." or Daddy & I love u very much & u are the best daughter anyone could ever have". There was also a PS to my older daughter telling her that they can't wait to see her so she can vent to them.WTF. I went into my daughters room & she saw that something was wrong & she & I spoke. She told me that they didn't know that they went away till they were on the boat already. Anyways, she said to me Mom, your my only Mom. That was all I needed to hear. The girls also told me that the GF is just like me & that she does want to meet me but Dad doesn't want her to. I am happy that she is nice tO them but I think she needs to know the boundaries when there is another parent. My BF has told the girls that their Dad will always be their Dad, he just wants to be their friend.
I love my BF very much & don't regret anything. I know over time the girls will realize what is true.
Of course they are mad. What they knew was Dad not being around & having me do it all. He still has that with the roll changing over to the girlfriend now rather than me. The one thing that has changed is me & of course they are going to blame someone that they have no attachment to ( my BF).
We are going to the Counsellor & she said it was huge strides that she wrote the letter regardless of the words. She thinks that we should just start inviting them out with us even though they will say no because eventually they will get sick of it & finally go with us but on their own time. I will wait for however long.
I just worry about them because a Dad is the 1st male , a daughter will ever encounter & they. Or ally will gravitate towards they kind of character. I want them to see positive relationships where there is true friendship, respect, great communication & love. I now know that is what is important. You think everything is ok but when u don't have that, you are setting yourself up for real disappointment.

Sharon - posted on 05/27/2012

2

18

1

Hello, I have a Teenager too! Children will swear when they are angry, okay it doesn't sound nice but we are all capable of it when we feel the same way. it's perfectly okay, it's a way of letting off steam! Don't feel ashamed she had to vent her anger somehow and better that way than hurting herself or anyone else!! There is nothing wrong with swearing!! Just ignore the action and support her with the problem!! Take care xx

Pamela - posted on 05/26/2012

711

9

6

Get one of those voice activated small hand held recorders. Put a tape in it and leave it in a position where she cannot see it but where it can record your words when she is swearing. When she starts swearing walk over and turn it on and then let her go for it. Do this several times and then sit down to have a talk with her and ply it back to her.

Sometimes when we witness ourselves we can more easily correct unacceptable behavior. A place like Best Buy will have these for an inexpensive price.

The best to all of you in correcting this habit.

Leanne - posted on 05/26/2012

38

27

2

a child see things differant than we do so this could be how thy feel right or wonge maybe talk to them but keep in mind thy may feel diffrent than we we do

Sally - posted on 05/25/2012

577

5

11

@Hiba. Very very well said. Wish i was able to express what i wish to say as well as you

Hiba - posted on 05/25/2012

14

17

0

Sometimes in this life when we feel out of control, and life has become unimaginable, we all turn to blame...it's easier than dealing with our own emotions and lack of control...even a 13 year old in a perfect family set up can turn to blame. It's our job as adults to help our kids find a path through the turmoil of emotions that they feel in the teen years and give them adult coping mechanisms and the tools to process emotion in a healthy way...
I think that's all anyone is saying here...this little girls world has changed beyond recognition...she is too young to acknowledge that it is one of those things, or understand the complexities of an adult relationship...she needs to blame someone, she can't blame mum or dad, that would be too hard, she can't blame the new gf, she's new...she has one person left...the bf...and with an existing relationship between her (the child) and him this makes him a safe option...the cool friendly uncle who was mums bf has changed, into someone else...and he is the only person who's role has changed here...
Don't forget that this little girl gave mum the go ahead to split...then she saw dad crumple...and her life changed in a way she could never have imagined...is there a possibility she's blaming herself a bit too?
What she's doing is a coping mechanism...it's not adult, or appropriate, but she's not an adult...she's 13...it's understandable, therefore forgivable, not right, but understandable.

Sally - posted on 05/25/2012

577

5

11

I want to add one thing in the hope that you may understand where im coming from.
You went on holiday with your best friend,im guessing rhat how the girls saw him. Anyway you two got closing on that holiday and you had feelings for each other. So you came home dumped dad and suddenly your best friend is your boyfriend. Your surpised they blame him. You desevre to be happy, you deserve to move on from a abusive ex but i hope the way i have just described your relationship though the eyes of a 13 year old will help you to see it from her point of view. Sit and talk openly with her ,she is old enough to hhear how unhappy you were if its balanced with your love for her. I really do wish you well in all and i really hope you don't end up wirh the relationship i had with my mum. Breaks myheart to this day.

Sally - posted on 05/25/2012

577

5

11

Im sick of this. NO ONE has said mum should stop her relationship. EVERYONE HAS SAID THE EX IS OUT OF ORDER. Im sorry but she said while away she grew closer, well i will call that one and say Bollocks. She had feelings before.Would she have left if bf hadn't been there. I don't really care but im seeing it from a 13 year olds point of view. You can not and nor have you the right to take a childs way of life, chew it up and go i got a right to do rhis that and the other. Shes just a kid ,she doesn't matter and when the going gets tough you play right in to dads game by TELLING YOUR 13 YEAR OLD SHE CAN GO LIVE WITH HER DAD. Im not saying mum should stop seeing the bf but she can do nothing about the ex. His not part of her life. She can not blame him if she is not willing to help her daughter through these confusing times with all the changes going on with this girl at this age. It can only get worse. We as mothers have our children, we love them etc for life . At 18 or so it is up to them but for godsakes shes 13. Has she started her peruod ,growing boobs etc. So instead of saying shes acting out, how about remembering were she maybe. I know one thing for sure every time mum goes you can go live with your dad, it backs up everything the ex says.

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2012

3,562

36

3907

Where did *I* tell her to cool or end her relationship? You really didn't read my posts, did you? I actually suggested nothing of the sort.

Andrea - posted on 05/25/2012

57

0

0

I was't really trying to offend you Jodi, and I'm sorry if I did. I just don't think tell her to cool it or even end her relationship with the BF simply because her 13 yr tells her to because she is unhappy is the correct or healthy thing for her to do. Its not going to help that child in anyway.

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2012

3,562

36

3907

Look, Andrea, I will just agree to disagree. You can continue to call me out and shove your opinion down my throat, the simple fact is, I have my view on this, you have yours. I expressed mine. You decided to call me out on it and tell me I was wrong. I'm not wrong. With everything I see in this situation, I believe in the advice I gave. If you'd do it differently, then go for it. If it was MY child, I'd absolutely go with my advice. But isn't that why she asked? To get different ideas and views? So you stick with yours, there is no need to call me out on mine.

Andrea - posted on 05/25/2012

57

0

0

Mom was just friends with the BF before the break up, and still to this day doesn't live with her because of the issues with her children, and hasn't left... yet this GF has been around for 8 months, lives with dad and is the one taking care of the girls while there, they seem to alright with dad being with some one else, its just mom being with him. she also stated that they are fine with her going to the BF house and in fact they would rather she did . Yes the timing was off, but if they are in love, and want to be together it was the right time for them. As for the girls feelings, yes she has the right to them and express them, but in the correct way, and they way she expressed them was not the correct way. She is acting out this way because of the fact she knows that no matter what she does, as long as it hurts her mom and the BF, dad is going to be happy about it and encourage her to act this way. Some times the only way to get though to some one who is attached to some one who is harmful is to point out what it is they are doing wrong.... not just in their eyes but the eyes any adult/ child who knows right from wrong

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2012

3,562

36

3907

Andrea, I am perfectly capable of reading. Are you? Dad's GF didn't come into the picture until AFTER the break up. Mum got together with hers before the break up. While the marriage may have been in shambles well before then (I acknowledge that it was because of abuse, but I am an adult), a 13 year old doesn't view the world in the same way we do . IN HER EYES the boyfriend was a part of it. IN HER EYES, she is right. She is hurt and angry, and she has that right. That is the way she feels, and it shouldn't be dismissed.



I also don't think you read what I wrote. I never said the father was blameless. I said, that to resolve this situation she had to stop blaming him. That's different.

Andrea - posted on 05/25/2012

57

0

0

@ Jodi, I really think you should reread things...Monica and her BF have been together for almost 2 yrs and only on weekends the girls are at the dad's house with his GF! why is it ok that he is allowed to be with some one and she is not? simply because her 13 yr old kid wants to be a brat and demand they split up? if you actually read the post instead of jumping all over her about disciplining her daughter for a letter that has words and language that would shame some grown men, she stated that the EX and the abuse he handed out, was the reason she left. The EX refuse to go on a family trip, which is why she went with her girls, the BF didn't go with them. Also the girls were fine with the BF until "dad" went snooping though email and told them what was in it. They are children and he shouldn't have involved them in the divorce in the first place. If any one is to blame it is the father and only him, and the fact that he is allowing this to happen..
@ Monica, maybe you should have her read it to her friends, with their names in it instead of his, like she is writing it to them, then ask how they felt about it. maybe if she sees it from their point of view she will understand that this is not the best way to handle things

Jodi - posted on 05/25/2012

3,562

36

3907

Carrie, I am absolutely NOT endorsing the abuse by the ex at ALL. But I have said very clearly that she has to stop blaming it because there is little she can do to change it short of going to court and banning the kids from access, and by the sounds of it, that would only make the situation worse. You cannot control someone else's behaviour, as much as you would like to. So instead, you need to stop using it as an excuse. That's entirely different to endorsing the behaviour.



This girl is 13 years old and would not be repeating things that her father said as her own feelings if she wasn't feeling it. This letter was not the ex's fault, and while he may have planted ideas into her head, 13 year olds are old enough to have such a vocabulary of language not learned from a parent, and she is old enough to know how she feels. I think it is naive to assume it is the ex that planted the idea in the 13 year old's head that the boyfriend was a part of the reason for the break up. You are assuming your daughter is stupid if you think this. Kids are incredibly perceptive, and they can add 2 and 2 together themselves without the idea being planted in their head.



The poor girl is blaming the boyfriend for breaking up her family, and she is absolutely right. He WAS a part of that and she has a right to feel angry about that. That needs to be addressed. Punishing her for feeling that way is inappropriate. Finding her constructive ways of dealing with it is. Dismissing her feelings is inappropriate. Acknowledge that she has a right to how she feels but not a right to be rude and abusive in expressing it. But punishment is simply NOT the answer here, and neither is telling her that how she feels is wrong.

Sally - posted on 05/25/2012

577

5

11

@ carrie, while i agree with a lot you say i feel saying Jodi is condoning abuse is taking it to far. She has said that the daughter was out of order for what she did but and imo quite correctly pointed out that maybe things need to back of a little between mum and bf while they deal with these issues. No one is saying mum should give up her relationship but her daughters mental amd emotinal needs have to be address. Im aware as is Jodi that its is very wrong of the ex to behave this way but there is not much mum can do to chamge him. She can wirh time and love help her daughter. This young girl is also at the age where her body is changeing so much . You all seemed to have forgotten just how horrible these early teen years are. I truely belief that some just mum and me time would help.

Eta sorry about spelling on phone. The keys so little keep hitting next door

Carrie - posted on 05/25/2012

9

11

0

@Hiba- I agree. It's a good idea to back off the relationship for a while to allow healing & also to let the girls see that dad is out no matter what. If it's a relationship meant to be, he'll wait & you can get re-aquainted later.

@Andrea Z- You make excellent points. At the heart of this is dad's failure to be a decent parent. @Jodi is endorsing abuse in my opinion.

Carrie - posted on 05/25/2012

9

11

0

Monica, just another thought. I just read the post where you describe your ex calling you a 'lying whore' or something to that effect in front of your children. Do you have a custody order? If so, it SHOULD explicitly ban this type of behavior. Clearly, your ex is at least verbally abusive. I would get a flip video camera & record EVERY interaction with him. He could be in contempt of court for this type of behavior. And please continue with the counseling. If you don't feel like you're getting anywhere, find another counselor. Good luck!

Carrie - posted on 05/25/2012

9

11

0

@Jodi- I'm sorry but just because your child didn't take their feelings out on you doesn't mean that other kids don't. In fact, the scenario described is much more common than what you describe in your case. If one parent is hateful towards the other than there is at least a 50/50 chance that the child is going to identify with that parent's anger & hate & mimic their behavior. This happens because 1) the hateful parent has given them 'permission' by behaving that way themselves, 2) they want to seek the approval of that parent, especially if that parent is no longer in the home & 3) it dovetails with the child's own feelings of anger over the divorce.. I think this is particularly true with the father/ daughter relationship. Mothers & daughters tend to have difficulties in the teenage years anyway & most daughters crave the attention & affection from their fathers. It sounds like this 'dad' is encouraging his daughter in this behavior, I suspect because it gives him some small satisfaction. I too have experienced this issue. My ex-husband is extremely bitter & hateful & has been very open about it with our children. This led to attitude problems with both children but more-so my daughter because she got props from her dad for being angry at me & my current husband (who treats her like a princess despite her behavior). I do agree that counseling is in order. My daughter has received over 2 years of counseling & between that & my husband & I being loving yet firm with her, she is finally starting to turn around & soften towards both of us. @Monica- Your daughter needs someone whom she can talk to about her feelings who is objective & also supportive of you as a parent. She does need to be punished for the letter & I think at least a written apology should be involved & a loss of privileges. She should not get the idea that blasting people in writing is the way to deal with her feelings. I don't hear Monica blaming dad, just stating what his state of mind is as she sees it & asking for help with a tough situation. I too, deal with an ex who spews hate while allowing the kids to do virtually ANYTHING they want while with him & then they come home where there are rules & routines & quite frankly, they don't like it. There is no fast answer. I would recommend getting your child involved in groups & activities you know will have a positive influence on her as well as counseling. Also, try to create as much closeness as you can by doing things often with her. If she is bonded to you & gets the message from others besides you & your boyfriend that she doesn't need to stay angry it's going to be really hard for her to maintain this level of bitterness.

Monica - posted on 05/25/2012

28

0

1

Thank you Andrea. You actually got it. Yes it is the Ex. He sees nothing wrong in the letter she wrote because it was for the BF, who he dispises.
About going on a vacation, we have booked booked next Spring Break to go to Maui but both girls have told me they will not go even though they want to go to Hawaii. Just not with him around. Unless their Father gives them the ok, it will never happen, I feel & that is my frustration. My Ex has this thing, he never forgives & you never want to be his enemy. I wonder what his GF thinks of all of this?
Thanks again.

Hiba - posted on 05/24/2012

14

17

0

Oh and please, I second earlier posts, don't be tempted to tell them they can live with dad...you're mum no matter what, their place is with you :)

Hiba - posted on 05/24/2012

14

17

0

Monica, I think you hit the nail on the head in an earlier post...you raised your girls, you instilled in them their morals and values, and they will get through this...I hadn't realised that this had been going on for two years, not sure if I missed that initially or you only said it later...I still think you need to work hard to make sure your girls feel heard and valued, but I also get the impression that you and your bf are doing your best to achieve this...I love the idea of everyone writing letters, it gives everyone time to digest and gets not only the initial emotional response, but also a later more evolved response...do ensure that you are only positive in your letters to your girls though...anything even remotely negative may be waved back at you for years to come! Teenagers!
As you said you raised your girls, and you know how to handle them...we can only offer advice...they will see the truth in the end...on a brighter note (well kinda but not really) but the man that my mum offered to walk away from... well my mum died unexpectedly when I was 16, less than a year after their marriage...we had some shaky times (not surprising), but now 18 years on he has stood by me more than my biological family, he is my kids grandpa, and he is my dad...things can get better...good luck :)

Lindsay - posted on 05/24/2012

57

20

0

I wouldn't concentrate on the words precisely, but the meaning behind them... She is hurting, I would be completely honest with her about your relationship with her father and why it didn't work... Teenagers want to be treated like adults, you can start by being honest with her and she may understand and stop blaming your boyfriend....

Andrea - posted on 05/24/2012

57

0

0

I don't think it would be healthy for mom or the children if the children are allowed to chose who mom can have a relationship with. Yes the teenager is still a child in many ways, but if given in to her demands to end the relationship that I believe has been for over two years is not going to help her become a loving adult that accepts other people. Its going to show her that if she whines enough mom will cave. Monica you have just as much right to be happy as do your girls and the ex. The biggest part of the problem I can see is the children want your ex's approval. You'll find out that on his weekends there he is not only bad mouthing the BF and you...but sending "hints" that he will feel bad or unloved if his "little girls" like the guy he blames for the break-up of his happy family life. Try to plan a family trip, if your able to, with the boyfriend and girls. Let them know up front where you're going and that the BF is going. Make it some place they would like to go, but have not been with their father. because if you and BF take them some place already been with dad, they are going to resent him even more.. after a few of the " family trips", depending on relationship with EX and GF, invite them or rather have the girls, at the BF request, invite them some place new as well and all of you go, chances are EX is going to say no, he doesn't want to be around the guy he sees as his replacement. when that happens, yeah the girls are going to be hurt, but chances are the girls are going to start to see that dad is the real problem here, not you and not the BF.

Monica - posted on 05/24/2012

25

0

3

My BF lives in another Province. Always has & will until things get better. The problem only arises when he comes here. My girls would rather I go there which is ok except I don't like leaving them even if it isn't my weekend. I like to be accessible.
He & I spoke regularly when we were friends. My Ex chose to not get to know him personally & actually doesn't have any close friends. His opinion is that they are too much work for him.
Everyone is entitled to a relationship. I don't think, however, that any child should dictate who that relationship should be with. Unless it is Physically harmful for them. Mentally is just as important but there are better ways of expressing that.

Michelle - posted on 05/24/2012

6

18

0

Agreed - Don't tell her she will have to move in with dad! It will only prove (to her) that your BF is more important than she is. 13 may not be considered a young child to you, but she is still very young and has alot of growing to do, emotionally and mentally. Not sure how old your other daughter is, I'm thinking even younger? Personally I would end things with the BF...I could/would never have a relationship that caused so much pain and unhappiness in my childrens lives. Yes it is your life, but as their mother it is your job to insure their growth in life, their emotional security, their self esteem - and little more than a mothers love will ensure this most. They NEED to know that they come above all else and that no matter what YOU will always be there for them. I think your BF was there for you, but at that time it could have been anyone. I find it interesting that you said he was your "best friend" but he had only met your husband 3 times? Perhaps he lived in another state or country...but I would think if he were your best friend your husband would have known him a little better...not that it really matters, just puzzling. If your BF truely loves you he would step aside, for the mere fact that his presence is destroying your girls well-being and your relationship with them. Men may come and go...your daughters are your daughters forever...what you do now can and most likely will determine your relationship for years to come.

Susan - posted on 05/24/2012

28

11

0

I would say that since a large part of the problem is that she is using foul language that you should make her edit the letter expressing how she feels, but while still being polite and using appropriate language. My kids are young enough that we have only had issues with the rare swear word, but I have explained to them that swear words are lazy, and there are LOTS of better ways to express fear, anger, sadness or upset than with those words. I make them think of better words and write them in a sentence several times. For example, when my oldest picked up the word "crap", I made him write, "When I am angry, I will say, 'I am so angry because I can't do what I want right now.'" and he had to write it neatly twenty times. It was a reminder of the correct language, and the repetition helped to drill into his mind how he should respond.

Sally - posted on 05/24/2012

577

5

11

Im so pleased to hear that came out wrong. I will add one more elememt to this mix. Your daugher is trying to deal with the break up in family, not maybe in the best way but have you stopped to think that your daighter is also on the edge of becoming a woman. Its a lot for her to handle and shes prob scared whats happening around her and whats happening to her. Please do not tell her she can go live at her dads again. Way to tell her shes to much work. Stick with her, it will be repaid. X

Gracie - posted on 05/24/2012

1

17

0

Don't tell her if she keeps acting this way she'll have to move with her dad. You are showing her you won't always be there for her and you might be making her feel like you pick the guy over her. My husband went throw those feeling and is still hurting from them. That's something you remember your whole life. Be careful with what you say. Pray for what to say and do.

Monica - posted on 05/24/2012

25

0

3

Yes that came out totally wrong. I'm sorry for that. I do things for them & that makes me happy.
Parenting you learn along the way. You can't always resolve issues by reading what to do in a book. I just like to hear other neutral peoples opinions, thats just me. Thank you.
I do, however, need to stop explaining myself all the time. I'm learning.
I will take everything to heart & know that what I have instilled in my girls from the time that they were born, they will have inside them. It will one day work out. I do pray that it comes sooner than later because I don't want my girls to hurt during these tough years ahead of them.

Sally - posted on 05/24/2012

577

5

11

while you and your daughter are at logger heads nothing will get sorted. There was one sentence that stood out and i really hope it was a mistake " i do everything for her and her sis, my needs come first". If she was 18 \19 it would be different. She's 13 going through so many changes. Give her time

Monica - posted on 05/24/2012

25

0

3

I have heard everyone's responses & I will try to answer all.
First off, My BF only met my Ex 3 times. My Ex never wanted to really get to know him. So he was my friend only. I wouldn't classify that as a friendship.
Secondly, I made the decision to leave my Ex before I left on my trip with the girls. Actually a few months before but I kept hoping that we could work things out. You know, you are in a relationship for so long, you have a fight, your really mad, nothing was ever resolved, the next day things seemed fine so I would put it aside, it would come back up what we fought about before. It took me a long time to realize this will never get resolved & I could not live like that anymore & made the choice. It was NEVER because of a another MAN!!! If I could go back, I would of said something before we left but I didn't want to ruin our holiday. I actually asked him to go on the trip with us & he said to me, "Why the F*** would I want to go?" That was the confimation for me. I never looked at my BF that way before & it was only after the girls hung out with him & saw the interaction, that I started getting attracted to him. Yes I guess I was looking for someone to replace their Dad but I never set out on it. We never planned on getting together. We actually spoke after that trip & didn't know where it was going so we met up alone & discussed all of this. When I returned home with the girls, I told my Ex that it was over & he didn't really put up a fight. I sat down with the girls & told them & they were ok. The older one only said that its good & bad. I asked her why & she said, "bad cause we won't be a family & good cause we will all be happier". Weeks went by & everything with my BF was very secretive. We only spoke when they weren't around. They were happy.
Everything started when my Ex snooped around cause one of his co-workers told him, she would never leave you unless there was someone else. He found an email that I was stupid enough not to delete & that was all he needed. He then figured it was him that was the reason I left. Not ever thinking that it was because we didn't get along. I am not only going to blame him. It took both of us to destroy the marriage. I think even if he didn't see an email & if I waited months, he would of thought that he was still the reason for the breakup cause the trip there was just before the breakup.
Anyways, we have told the girls in the past that we were going to cool it but then when I decided that after a few weeks, we couldn't, their Father convinced them that I lied to them & that we never cooled it. I don't want to do that again.
My BF has suggested that we all sit down but the problem is that they don't want to be around him. So how are they to get to know that he isn't the bad guy. I have respected their time & I only see my BF on the weekends that they are with their Dad & that has been going on for almost 2years. There may have been a few days that it overlapped with him coming here & its been a Professional Day off from school, they right away make plans to stay at a friends or grandparents or their Dad. How can I make them sit down with us to discuss this.
I want to do whatever possible to make my girls happy but breaking up with my BF is just one thing that I will not do. Sorry, I'm sure people may think that that is horrible of me but what am I proving to them.....that they have control over my happiness. I have told my daughters that when it came time for them to choose partners, which is a longtime from now, they are the ones that make that decision. I would hope that they will know what is good for them.
I am not a neglectful mother at all. I actually chose to work part-time so I could raise my kids, I have put them in activities to make them grow. Taught them about life & the world by visiting people & places. I do listen to my girls. I have one on one with both of them & even have a 'date' night like one of you suggested. They love that & know that they can always come to me for anything. My teen does come to me when she wants something & I am the parent she leans for most.
Reading all the responses, I hear everyone tell me that she is seeing this from a 13 year olds perspective & I get that. I was that age once too. My parents are also divorced & there were other relationships in there that I didn't like but the one thing I never did was react to it in a rude manner. I never neglected from being with either my Mom or Dad when I didn't like the person that they are with. I have told them that I know that they may never like my BF but please give me the respect to be around me because they love me & want to be by my side.
It hurts me to see that they respect their Dad & who he is with. I see that they do things together. I never show that to them, though. All the gifts that they have received from the Girlfriend of 8mths (hand made necklaces, Coach purses, clothes, make-up, letters) I always say that was really nice of her. She must be really nice to do that for you. Deep down inside, I hate it. That is just me & I will get over that. My BF, however, gives them small gifts to acknowledge them for Christmas, Birthdays & special occassions they will not accept & are quick to tell their Dad that they didn't take it.
I did have a chat with each of the girls, so you all know. The older one, I told her that my BF wrote her a letter & I read it to her. It said that he is not mad at her & that he cares for both her Mom & them & he just wants to be friends again" It said some more things but that was the just of it. I asked her if her letter wording was an appropiate to write & she said no. I asked her to really think & rewrite the letter with her feelings, respectfully. I also asked her to write me a letter. We'll see what happens. I supply her with a cell phone so she is in contact with me & she is never available when I call her or text her so I took it away from her till she can respect all that I give & do for her. I don't want to be taken for granted of. I take care of her & her sister & I put my needs in front of hers. I don't see my BF for 4-6 weeks at a time so we are all alone together. She did throw out there, that this was a form of abuse & I told her that it was parenting!! I'm sure that she will not have fun with not having a cell phone & resolve this soon.
We'll see.

Sally - posted on 05/24/2012

577

5

11

I have been in this place thats why i asked if your bf was a friend with your ex.All i can say is take your daughters feelings in to consideration. When shes 18 or what ever you can put yourself first until then they need you to give them time to adjust. It really makes me angry when a mother or father puts their needs before her child. Talk to your girl, stop making the bad person for not jumping around in joy because her life as she knew it,good or bad, has fallen to pieces . Would you have left if you didn't have a back up plan. Im not being horrid but iv'e been where your daughter is and there is so much anger. You have handle leaving your husband and bringing in this new bloke so badly. Please now look after your child.sje 13 for godsakrs remember this.

Vicky - posted on 05/24/2012

49

15

1

Monica, I think there are several issues ongoing here:
1. Your daughter is a "tweener". She's likely exploring her identity as an individual.
2. A new relationship was started before her family unit ended.
3. Her definition of family (her, her siblings, the ex, and you) disintegrated.
4. The ex is choosing to behave poorly during his time with her and during interactions with you.

I don't think discipline (i.e., punishment) is needed here, but rather, clear boundaries of HER role in this new family, even clearer support and reaffirmation that she IS valued in this new family, and support in the transition she is undergoing in BOTH of her homes. You, as the adult, will need to carefully manage this situation and realize this is a process in which EVERYONE will need time to adjust. In this case, you'll need to be THE MODEL of BEHAVIOR with the new environments (yes, plural) she has to adjust to - this means, grace in handling negative situations, strength in standing for what you believe, humility and humbleness in forging new grounds.

I agree with the others that said a discussion is needed. Importantly though, you need to be careful with how you respond to her views and opinions. I don't know whether she was present when you tore up her letter, but consider how you would feel if that was your letter and your mother did that. I am not ignoring the fact you later taped it up, but hurtful actions are more strongly remembered than nice deeds. Speaking by effigy, you removed her voice by tearing up that letter. When you do have the discussion, take the time to really listen, not react, and THINK about how you want to respond (again, not react) to her position. Let her know what your values are and what your goals are as time progresses. She might not like it, but give her the respect as a child transitioning to pre-adulthood.

Remember, how the ex chooses to behave is separate from your daughter, though she may take on similar characteristics. With his cursing in front of her, don't apologize for his behavior to her. That's his failure to behave properly and his responsibility to own the consequences. With that said though, acknowledge the situation with her. Yes, that was very bad behavior (immature) and a negative way for him to express anger. Discuss with her on the drive what would have been a better and more productive way to do that. Let her know there are better ways to make a point.

I would definitely make a point to work WITH your daughter at setting up a routine date time, where it's ONLY you and her. This is good, also, for your other kids and your new partner but the focus at this time is with her. However, you HAVE to be committed to it. Just because you have a new relationship that makes you happy, doesn't mean that the rest of the family feels the same way. You're the only one wearing the rosy red glasses at this time, otherwise she wouldn't have written the letter to your new boyfriend. Showing and letting her know she has the foundation of YOUR love for her allows HER to know this new family situation won't leave her out in the cold. As unrealistic as that is in your mind, that's a very real and scary place she's in now. She needs you.

Some of the responses suggested bad vibes from the new bf which is a very real threat that we can never be sure of unless the child actually comes forward. If your child presents something horribly against what you see in your bf, don't fly off the handle one way or the other, but really take some time to listen to what your gut tells you and what evidence was there that you might not have seen before. Too good to be true usually is. On the other hand, be careful this isn't a manipulation.

Finally, address the differences and similarities your daughter sees between your ex and your boyfriend. Yes, the bf took a role that was ONLY for her father. It's not rocket science, but to her it's hell. You may have to actually tell her that the BF is not replacing her father, but his role with her needs to be defined OVER TIME. Family is not always the genetic ties to a person, but the bonds that keep two or more people connected. While you're giddy with joy having found a friend and a partner, she only knows that this familiar person is now in the 'father' role but he is NOT her father. Let her know, yes, many of his roles will be similar to what a father should/would do and it can be confusing for her as well as emotionally difficult, but that he's there for as long as you and he are together. She needs to know he will respect her as an adult respects a child and she will respect him as an adult in the home. There's no reason for her to feel guilty she likes him as a father figure and it's valid to have some anger, frustration, and confusion as she transitions. Similarly, she needs to know your roles with her haven't changed but that there are opportunities to strengthen the relationship you have with her. Giving her an opportunity to control her part, but still guiding her, in your relationship with her should address her 'tweener' angst.

I lied, one last thing: Remember, you're taking on a heck of a lot of issues at once, right now. Not surprising. Acknowledge the work you're doing, how difficult a task it may seem, and pray for the strength and patience you and the kids and your bf need as you go through this transition. I'd also pray for good things for the ex - if he grows as a person, all the better for your kids. You're a great mom doing a good job and you need to hear this more often. Best of luck to you!

Andrea - posted on 05/24/2012

57

0

0

Monica, I have read some of the post by the other mom, and most of them I do not agree with. Sad to say, but this is your life not your daughters, yes she should be happy and safe, but you have that right as well. She is 13, and yeah she may see that your BF is the reason why your not with her dad. But, and I think by reading some of these other post I'm alone on this, point out to your children, that their father has new GF who takes care of them like a mom, she is the one doing everything at his house that you do at your's when they allow you too, and your BF does the things for you and if they were to allow it for them as well. Remind them of how things were when you were with their dad, both the good and the bad. The way I'm reading what your posting is this, She is not mad per say at you and your BF, although it may seem like it, she is really mad at her father, for failing to be the dad your BF is proving to be, however, she can't take it out on him, as he is her father... your BF handing the letter the way he did, and all the other things your girls are doing is how they knew he would hand it...Keep talking to them, I know its hard, I have been there myself with my husband of 4 yrs and my children.. They all now love my husband and call him daddy, but it was touch and go for a while. All of my children were told, as well as my husband, I will not chose one over the other. I will chose what is best for me, and what is best for me was all of them working to make our life better. Good Luck

Christian - posted on 05/24/2012

15

0

0

Hi Monica ,
I'm not going to write a long big paragraph like some oh these ladies have done. They have grat point ideas and advice. Ur daughter is a child u are and a adult. The way I was taught and raise children r seen and not heard. I believe this up until a certain level of age were this will start to effect the action of the child. Talk to her make her understand that this is what y'all want and so b it. Now I'm done. Take care b watchful and pray just like one if the ladies say pray pray pray. Keep oil wit u too.

Hiba - posted on 05/24/2012

14

17

0

Initially I think you should actively embrace the letter, she's letting her feelings out, and she needs to do that so you can hear and you can all move on. Here's the thing...she has a right to blame your bf...yes, yes, yes, as an adult I get it, but she's 13 and to her it's simple...he broke up your marriage, he sent her daddy away, and what happened before ceased to exist...she is dealing with HER now, the best way she can...
I actually think that you and your kids and your new partner need to sit down and talk, you both need to listen, as he was your best friend before this relationship he must have had some kind of relationship with your girls...
He sounds like a lovely chap in the way that he handled the letter...you're not going to like what I say next, and it sucks but I hope that in the long term it may help you and your girls...cos your girls are the victims here, noone else...it's their screwed up father, and their security that has been shattered...they must feel (wrongly) very unimportant right now (wrong but understandable)
So here goes...sit down with them and your bf, and listen...let the hate come out...then, you two together try to find a path forwards...if you cant and tgat seems likely now...both agree that he will walk away, let him tell them that he loves you, and them, and that it was never his intention to hurt the family, blah blah, let him say that if he causes them so much hurt, he can't do that because he wants what's best for them, and you...
Then cool it down...let them see that without him there is still no relationship between you and their dad, but most of all let them see that they are the most important people in your world, every child should know that, and right now their world has been shattered...
Give them time to grieve the loss of their parents relationship, give them strength and security, then let bf back in slowly...they need to know that he is not the reason for the split, only time will show this...so do please give them time.
I know that this is a terrifying approach, and you do have a right to happiness, I'm sure you deserve it after years of abuse, but so do your girls...which is more important? You made your decisions, they are along for the ride...let them use their voices...
Please don't hate me, I was in a similar situation...my mum did something similar to this, it shocked me back to reality...it made me feel valued, and allowed me to stop fighting, and actually support her happiness...she could not be the bad guy if she took away what I blamed her for...make sense?
Good luck x

Hazel - posted on 05/23/2012

1

0

0

I don't think that now is the time for dicaplin. She was very brave to tell your boyfriend how she felt, even if it was a bit miss guided. Sounds like your boyfriend is a good guy and is patient with the her, perhaps they need to take some time together to get to know each other properly and rebuild some bridges?

I think I would explain to her that what she did was hurtful and that she needs to express her feelings in a more constructive way, she is a teenager after all. Ask her what she wants to do to make things better, but most of all, make sure that she know you love her as well as your boyfriend.

Good luck.

Suzan - posted on 05/23/2012

14

16

0

Remember you might have chosen the boyfriend over the husband, but your daughter didn't. She was just uprooted, saw her family break apart, and has to be the good little girl and make no ruffled??? She is hurting. She is a teenager....you need to grow up and listen to her feelings. Don't defend your actions. Don't put down her dad. Just listen

Angela - posted on 05/23/2012

2

27

0

I am not sure that disciplining her would help the situation. I would talk to your daughter and tell her that although you are proud that she stands up for what she believes in she could get her point across in a more ladylike manner without the curse words. Its a touchy situation because she truly feels that your boyfriend destroyed her family, even though you feel that he didn't. The way you handle her feelings now will determine your relationship with her for the rest of your life. Remember your kids will always be your kids no matter which man you are with.

Suzan - posted on 05/23/2012

14

16

0

Sometimes we single Mums think it is a competition. It isn't. If this letter is out of character, talk to your daughter and be brave enough to listen. Maybe she wants some if the together time you enjoy with your boyfriend, but she feels you aren't accessible. For sure she needs to know writing such a letter needs addressing, but your boyfriend is right. She us hurting and beefed her mum ti be the higher person, understand, and listen.

Monica - posted on 05/23/2012

25

0

3

I have also taught my girls to respect others, be kind. what is right & wrong. This is really out of character for them. The younger one didn't even look at him. I have a feeling that my Ex said something to them in the effect of, "if you ever were to like him I would die" or "I will kill him if I ever knew he was around you & I could go to jail for that". I just don't know. They are very secretive about him. I know that they have a Dad right now because he is forced to do it. I do find out however, that his Girlfriend has taken on the roll by driving them places & taking them shopping, picking them up or cooking for them so in their eyes things are still the same with him but there is another woman who has replaced me there. Whereas, I have changed a little because I am doing things for myself a little. And when he is around, I am doing it alongside him. I have asked them just to be around us & they can see but they won't even give that to me.
I am & never will be that kind of mother that ignores what is going on with my kids. If there was any danger to them because of any man regardless of how they are with me, they would be gone BUT in my case that isn't even the situation. Let's say, I'm not blind. I see that they are hurting & I am trying to figure this out.
Here where I live, the other parent has to give permission for the the child to go seek professional help. My Ex thinks they are all dummies & that they will try to convince one to see it like they want so when my Psychologist called him she had to promise him that she would not do that. I know that if they came to him & said this is what they told us, he would not be agreeing. So, again what do I do?

Monica - posted on 05/23/2012

25

0

3

Thank you everyone for your answers. I would like to let you know this: She is 13 & her father & I split up in 2010. We didn't have a family like some may think. My Ex was absent & my daughter even told me that she wished he would just go away forever because of how she felt...disappointed by him & being neglected by him. With that, I made the decision to change the situation. I went away with the girls & during that trip I started feeling things for my best friend who the girls knew. They liked him. After we came back, I told my Ex that we were done & a few weeks later, he snooped around & found an email that showed that we had exchanged. He begged me back & promised that we would sweep this under the rug. I could not do that. There was so much emotional abuse over the years, I just couldn't cause I knew I would lose myself. He then did what any vengeful person would do, I think and that was to dirty my name. He told the girls in explicit details what I did & that my friend had a hand in it because I was so vulnerable. So this is what happened.
I have gone to councelling with them & I am listening to her. She wants me to break up with him & find someone else. I have told her that this is my decision & unless things were a danger to her or her sibling, I won't won't change my mind. My Ex has a girlfriend already that they like because she didn't have anything to do with the breakup. I have told her countless times that my Boyfriend didn't either but she won't listen. I have showed them hurt that this is causing me also. My Boyfriend also doesn't live close so we only see eachother once a month & I work around their schedule but sometimes there is an overlap where its a holiday & they refuse to be around me if he is around.
This past weekend, my younger one had a Ballet Recital, I have done her hair & makeup since she was small & my ex has told me many times that if I put her in something, its my responsibility. Well, my BF was here helping me with yardwork & house chores & she would not come home to get it done even if he wasn't here. It was a real struggle. She actually wanted her Gramma to come with her so she could make sure. I am just going to say, NO he has never harmed the girls....actually has never been alone with them....just in case your wondering.
In the end, I went to get her & my Ex came storming out of the house yelling at the top of his lungs, YOU LIAR WHORE! This was right in front of my daughter & later I found out the 13 year old heard & said he was mad. I lost it right after. This is what I endured during our marriage & I just have a hard time with the thought that the girls are not seeing how good my BF treats me & them.
I do listen to my girls & I want what is good for them. I am not trying to replace them nor is he wanting too. He actually spoke with her right after & told her he wants to understand why she hates him so much & she said because he broke up the family. Will this ever subside? I have told her that if she cannot respect me, then she may have to move with her Father. She has told me she doesn't want to. I for one, do not want that & everyone knows that those children are my life but how can I eliminate a wonderful relationship where there is trust, cooperation, love & friendship, just to make them happy. They one day will choose someone to share their lives & I have told them that will be their decision not anyone elses.

Heather - posted on 05/23/2012

534

65

0

She needs to talk to someone about all of her hurt and anger. Maybe a child psy.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms