My daughters had their visitation with their dad again yesterday– 10am to 4pm. Such a brief window of time yet damage can be done in that small amount of time. We met at the normal coffee shop for the exchange at 4pm. As they got back into the car and said, “Mom, dad was calling you ‘T-Rex’ to Poppi (his father) again yesterday and they were laughing and saying mean things“.
I have many feelings on this subject.
1. My daughter’s should not be in this situation. They are so young and this is extremely detrimental to them. I don’t know what the right response is when they do “report back”. I don’t want them to feel like they need to tell me these things but more importantly, they shouldn’t be hearing these things. At all.
2. I pulled out my calculator. There are approximately 720 hours in one month (30 days). He sees his daughters for a total of 24 hours per month– 10am to 4pm, every other weekend. Such short windows of time. Mathematically speaking, he is free to speak about me however he chooses for 696 hours per month: 720-24= 696. That’s a lot of time for bashing, ‘woe is me’ and negative energy. I do not understand the urge to waste a single moment of his limited father-daughter time on openly bashing me to two innocent little girls.
So– they got in the car and told me that he spoke poorly of me. I chose to not turn it into a huge ordeal. I quietly said, “That is Dad’s choice to do that however, I don’t think it is nice nor should he be saying those things in front of you. I also don’t want you to feel like you have to tell me these things. If you want to talk about it then I am happy to do that however, it isn’t your job to worry about this. Your job is to have fun and be a kid- not to worry about adult things“.
I struggle with a response to these things and others. I don’t want them to feel like they are messengers but I also don’t want them to hold things inside and not talk about them.