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How to help a three year old cope...

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Foolme1 posted 5/1/2013 12:09 PM

Those of you who have small children and who have, unfortunately, been through this, how did you help your children cope?
I have a three year old daughter who looks at her daddy as her Prince. She calls him her prince, and her eyes just light up when she sees her daddy. She is going to be devastated when Daddy is no longer coming home. She will be angry with me. She witnessed an argument between us the other night (not my doing, he just started yelling at me in front of her, and I stayed quite to avoid a scene in front of her), and she immediately took her daddy’s side. Said she was going to return me to the store and get a new mommy because mommy doesn’t like daddy’s friends (he wanted to leave again to hang out with “friends” for like, the 4th time that week. He usually stayed gone 3-4 hours a night, and I told him that I did not want him to go, that he has a family, and he started yelling at me).

My little girl is my everything. She loves her daddy more than she loves me it seems I don’t know how to handle her heartbreak. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated…

Jrazz posted 5/1/2013 12:25 PM

That's soooo tough. My DD was 8 months old on DDay, and I took her to my dad's for a few weeks to figure things out. She was too young to understand.

Now, even though FWH is here and we're in R, things are tense and hard, and it affects her sometimes. I just try to make her feel as special and important as I can. Life isn't going to go exactly how I want for her, and I need to be at peace with that.

You may find some specific and helpful advice about this in our D/S forum. There are a lot of wonderful people there who have been through this and are single parents who have learned how to help their kids through the process.

Sending you big hugs and strength.

gspiceneg6 posted 5/1/2013 12:29 PM

My IC therapist tells me that children up to ab age 7 or 8 cannot discern that the conflict they see has nothing to do with them. So it is important to say to them as often as needed, "I want you to know this has NOTHING to do with you. You have done nothing wrong. You have not made mommy/daddy upset. I love you very much. It's not your fault." Etc.

I say it to both my children a lot. With my 5yo, I get completely down on his level and make it brief but make sure he's hearing me.

Foolme1 posted 5/1/2013 12:57 PM

Thank you. I posted in divorce/separation. I am so upset...I get so upset with him, that I sometimes take it out on my dd int eh form of no patience. I feel like a terrible mother for putting my emotions over a guy over my lifeline-my daughter

OneFootForward posted 5/1/2013 13:07 PM

((gspiceneg6)) - your IC is full of !@#$. I have lived through a divorce as a child. I know what it does. I know the pain it brings. Thinking it is your fault that Mommy and Daddy are breaking up. Wondering when I am going to see Mommy again. Then crying when she leaves. It is freaking hell. I was 2 years old. It hurt me for years and years and years. I have the memories etched into my brain this very day.

My wife is not from a broken family. She does not know the pain. We promised that when/if we had kids we would not do that to them. And then she sees Om. Bingo says A and here I am. My wife did not understand how I was more upset about her hurting the children. The first two nights after D-Day I paced the hall and would check in on my two every 5 to 10 minutes. To know that peace could be shattered.

In the fog, the WS don't see outside fantasy land. They don't see the broken home, possible STDs, the hurt they put you in or the kids. They see their own selfish needs.

That all brings us on what to do for Foolme1's little princess (all little girls are princesses). Some people say tell them truth. I don't think she will understand Divorce. My spouse said she would tell our girls she hurt Daddy so badly we could not live together anymore. Maybe that is a good answer... I am not sure. Certainty is not a thing I possess in any real quantity these days.

I think you need to take her away from what is going to be a great source of pain and be there for her, a lot. She needs to be affirmed that all this is not her fault. She needs to know she is loved and she needs to know you will not leave her like Daddy did. Then be prepared (I know, like we are prepared huh) for the innocent emotional distress she is about to endure. You can cope, even if on some basic level. She will be unable. She will have absolutely no experience to help her ease the pain, deflect the suffering or make sense of any of it. She will hurt... and she might just blame you for it. The only other thing I can tell you not to do is to use her as a tool for well or woe. Whatever is going to happen, she gets to keep her innocence as best you can to protect it. That is your job as a parent right now.

I am crying for your pain right now Foolme1, as I cry for mine.

"Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Daisy312 posted 5/1/2013 22:26 PM

My DD just turned 4, and we have been dealing with this for 1 yr now. Unfortunately she has walked in on some pretty nasty fighting. I talk to her often, I let her know that sometimes grown ups argue an get upset, but that we are ok. I ask her if she has questions, and I try to be as honest as I can given her age. She doesn't know what her daddy did, but she knows that her hurt my feelings an sometimes I get upset still. I tell her that we both love her more than anything in the world. I hope we haven't caused too much damage.

idiot85 posted 5/2/2013 07:58 AM

Is there a way her Daddy can talk to her about it? I ask because I have my own little Daddy's Girl and in arguments she will always take my side over anything at all- I talk to her directly because otherwise she has the "naughty Mummy" attitude.

My wife does the same with our son- he is a Mummy's Boy.

I know it's unfortunately not always possible but- if it is- try it.

jo2love posted 5/2/2013 08:02 AM

Please use existing thread.

Thank you.

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