I was furious. My husband had done something that angered me to no end. To make matters worse, he refused to talk about it. After he gave me the cold shoulder, I went downstairs to play a promised card game with my children.
I wanted to say, “Your father is acting so ridiculous!” Then I wanted to tell them exactly what he had done and have them say how right I was and how wrong he was. Needless to say, I kept my mouth shut. Instead, I called a discreet friend and vented to her. After I cooled off, I was doubly thankful I had not dumped my agitated feelings on my kids. There are just some things moms should never tell their children if they want them to have a happy childhood.
There are just some things moms should never tell their children if they want them to have a happy childhood.
“I’m sick and tired of your Dad!”
No matter what you think of him, children need to think highly of their father. Dr. Meg Meeker says that the stronger your child’s relationship with his father, the better off your child will be emotionally and mentally.
So look for the good in your child’s father and build upon that. When you feel angry at him, do not confide in your child.
“I’m miserable in my marriage.”
Children need stability in their home life. If you and your husband are going through tough times, do not share that with your child. If your child hears you and your husband arguing, reassure your child, “Dad and I were having a serious discussion and that’s okay; we have to talk about things to discover a solution.”
If your relationship really is on the brink of disaster, your child doesn’t need to be brought into the loop unless a change in your child’s home life is imminent. If you and your husband are committed to remain together no matter what, do share that with your child. Mark Merrill, Family First president and husband of iMOM founder Susan Merrill, tells this story:
“Susan and I had a big argument that the children overheard. As I was tucking in one of my daughters that night, she asked, ‘Dad, are you and Mom getting a divorce?’ I reassured her that we were not getting a divorce and that although we did have arguments, her Mom and I were committed to each other for life.”
You’ll also want to seek out someone to talk with other than your children. You can also start getting your marriage back on track with these 5 ways to improve your marriage even when you don’t like your husband.
“How are we going to pay our bills?”
Most families have money issues, or at least money limitations. It’s okay to tell our children that we’re making our money choices based on our budget and available funds. It’s not cool to tell our kids that we don’t know how we’re going to pay our bills or that we could lose our home or car if we don’t come up with some cash because it’s beyond their power to do anything about it, other than feel anxiety.
If you really do have to move because you can’t afford your mortgage or rent, or there will be another lifestyle change because of money troubles, talk with your child and reassure her that you have a plan and that your family will remain strong throughout your challenges. You’ll also want to work with your husband on your financial troubles. Here’s how to talk with him about money without fighting.
Most of the examples above escape our lips when we’re angry or upset emotionally. Other times we might be down or discouraged and want to confide in our children because we know they love us. Whatever the cause, stop yourself before you say any of these things.
Have you ever confided too much in your child?