ds6 has worked so hard on his entry. He thought it up himself, chose the music, worked hard at it. The school sent out emails and a letter (which went out the day The Arse picks him up from school) explaining how to buy a ticket. The Arse didn't bother. I have no idea why.
A couple of days ago ds6 asked me heartbreakingly if I couldn't get a babysitter for ds4 and let The Arse have ds4's ticket instead. That was when I first realised The Arse wasn't going to come. I had to reply that I didn't know if The Arse was coming or not, but that both ds4 and I really wanted to be there. Ds6 then said he didn't think The Arse bought a ticket, couldn't I just give ds4's ticket to him? I said that The Arse had the choice to get a ticket and then just repeated what I'd said before.
So ds4 and and I went. The Arse wasn't there. Ds6 was great and I was so proud of him!
So, today, The Arse comes to pick up ds4 before going to get ds6 from school. I decided to warn him that the boys were tired because of the late night at the talent show. So then he asked me "How did it go?"
Can anyone give me advice on what to say to this (in front of the kids) in future (I'm sure there will be more of these!)?
Because I forgot the crickets and said: "You'd know if you'd been there"
Also, I took video of ds6 with my phone. No way do I want The Arse to have that, but ds6 knows about it. Any ideas for replies if ds6 asks me to give it to The Arse, or if The Arse asks for it in front of the boys?
[This message edited by Softcentre at 9:56 AM, May 16th, 2014 (Friday)]
Took a while, but I like the me I am, without him
However, I would have told the arse that it went really well and left it at that.
I agree that you have to force them to be parents all by themselves. Getting him a ticket just makes you his secretary. If its not this it will be something else that he repeatedly disappoints the kids about. Buying this one ticket isn't going to prevent the disappointment. It just changes the date it happens.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
Now I never include ex as a rule, but if one of my kids ask me to pass on something (picture, video, etc) that I have that he misses, I readily do it. I will send it with just a short "child requested I share this with you" and leave it at that.
Then smile and walk away.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
I have to deal with a doucheEX similar to yours, I am sorry it is very hard. I try very very hard to watch my wording when it comes to my kids, I work hard when it comes to using the word "CHOICE" because whenever I use "it is your dad's choice to X,Y,Z.." and since EX FAILS every single time- it dissappoints our kids and puts the ONUS on them.
We make the love a parent is supposed to feel for their kids a CHOICE and when they don't come through, it makes the child feel like their parent chooses not to love them, therefore something is wrong with them.
My dad choose not to attend because I am not important enough= unloveable.
We don't need to reinforce that, we need to counter that with pointing out that although choice to ACT a certain way does not mean it isn't felt.
I struggle with this often and try and use examples with my kids when they are upset at loved ones, me, siblings or even his own dad, i remind him that although XXX made a choice to do (something mean/not nice/did not call/attend) it doesn't change that they do care/love them.
I remind him that even though sometimes Dad doesn't do everything DS/DD would like, it doesn't mean he doesn't love them, it just means he doesn't know how to show it or that Dad never knew what it was like to be a parent so he might make some mistakes but that it has nothing to do with them.
I find I am continually trying to build their confidence up and remind them that people show affection/love in different ways and that doesn't mean that THEY are the ones that aren't worthy.
At times, it seems I am excusing the douchebag behavior but I believe that right now that they are little they don't need to feel or deal with being rejected or fault themselves for their NPD dad, they will grow up and hopefully over time learn healthy ways of displaying emotions/feelings/ and what not.
I'm divided on this. I want them to have good self esteem (obviously!) but it's also important that they know I won't lie to them or make excuses for The Arse. We keep saying, don't listen to their words, look at their actions...well my boys see that.
I feel like, if I say "Oh I'm sure he wanted to etc etc" that's a lie. And then they won't trust me with their feelings of disappointment because they'll see me rugsweeping and minimising their feelings. They'll be learning codependency from me, like I learnt it as a child.
I also don't want to do The Arse down to them. He's their dad, they love him and it's good that they do and know they're loved. But The Arse compartmentalises to such an extent that, I now realise, he relied on me to keep him engaged with the children during the work week. I don't do that anymore and so he just seems to block them out when he's not with them. This talent show happened during his working week...I think he put it away in a box & forgot there was a real little boy desperate to have his daddy there.
So how to walk that delicate line?