Today’s episode is about NOT using your child as your counselor. This topic has come up frequently with friends and family, so we’re excited to share some bits of advice. It’s easy to forget that your child cannot process or relate to the things you’re going through, and it puts them in a tough position to even try.
Your children aren’t your counselor or your friend, listeners. They’re not equipped to be on the receiving end of your vent and they don’t want to be in the middle. Sharing your problems or venting about their other parent isn’t helping anything, in fact, it’s damaging their relationship with you and others they love.
Today, Mike and I will talk about a teenager who was in the middle of something devastating between her parents – and she knew because her mother was narrating every painful detail. Listen in to hear the lasting impact that venting too many details has on children and what every parent can do to avoid using their child to justify their feelings.
04:30 – 06:30 – Introducing today’s topic: Using your child as a counselor
06:30 – 08:00 – Your child is not your friend; they need your stability
08:00 – 13:00 – An example of a child being given too many details
13:00 – 15:30 – The long-term impact of putting your child in the middle
15:30 – 17:30 – Some tips for parents
17:30 – 21:00 – Protecting your child’s experience and setting your ego aside
21:00 – 25:00 – Final thoughts: Your child isn’t there to justify your feelings
- Your child is not your counselor or your friend.
- Using your child to vent damages them and makes them feel insecure.
- Don’t talk negatively about the other parent to your child.
- Children don’t know how to process adult situations.
- Don’t let your ego or pride make you feel as though sharing too much with your kid will bring you justification or credibility. It won’t.
- Your child doesn’t have to pick a side, so don’t try to get them on yours.
- Find someone else to talk to, whether it be a friend, counselor, or therapist.
- Adult children of divorce still deal with the issues that come from parents who fought and put them in the middle.
- Make choices that make the transition easier on your kids.
- Kids don’t need to know the drama and details.
- Parents have the power to create an environment that’s secure and stable.
- It’s good for kids to see disagreements, but don’t leverage the kids to make a point or pick a side.
- Don’t be selfish.
- “Your kids need to look at you as a person who’s giving them stability.” – Mike
- “It’s not your kid’s responsibility to bear the pain you’re having.” – Summer
- “Don’t bring your kids into the drama.” – Summer
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