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Parenting advice

AthameAflame posted 9/28/2020 00:20 AM

Our divorce was finalized in August, and I feel absolutely amazing!

My kids? Not so much . Their Mom has moved into an apartment with the meth addict she SWORE to them she was dumping. When she came to pick up a bed the other day, she brought another addict/convict with her to get it—his mugshot has been on Facebook so much that I recognized him and knew his name before he opened his mouth.

The boyfriend is in our paperwork as a person the kids cannot be around, yet the last time she took the kids for the night she left them with him all day long while she went to work. Now, I only let her have supervised visits since she violated the terms within a week of signing the papers. The kids (14, 13, and 11) know that they’re not allowed around drug users and convicts, so they want to know why Mama is choosing him over them. My youngest just left my room after crying about it.

I tell them that, no matter what, safety comes first, and that we must do the right thing no matter what anyone else does. I tell them to call their mom or write her a note to express the feelings they express to me. I assure them of how much they’re loved and how important it is to speak one‘s truth. I do not disparage their Mom, but I don’t defend her in any way either. Their relationship has nothing to do with me, except that I have to protect my kids from her asinine actions.

What can I say to help them? Or is this just par for the course of divorce? I promised them that they’d be able to see Mama whenever they wanted and her schedule allowed—that was our plan— but that was before she moved in with meth mouth and his band of rowdy friends.

Ichthus posted 9/28/2020 01:44 AM

The best way to help them is by listening to them and validating their feelings.

And also by doing what you can to keep them out of harm's way. If you have to go back to court to plead with a judge for her to start getting drug tested.

DO NOT ever bad mouth their mother... this will backfire on you in the long run. You be as consistent as possible and try to keep adult conflict away from them. They need to worry about kid stuff. school, relationships, playing, friends, and etc.

The1stWife posted 9/28/2020 06:22 AM

If your wife is a Drug user it may be time to explain what addiction does to people.

I suggest you meet with a trained professional psychologist who deals with kids and these issues. They can guide you in what to say and how to say it.

Your kids are old Enough to understand Her poor choices. However it still hurts all the same. I’m sorry your children are being dragged through this.

twicefooled posted 9/29/2020 07:50 AM

Your ex is my ex to a tee.

It's really tough to keep the kids safe at the best of times, let alone when their parent is an addict.

The very best thing I did for my kiddos is to get them a therapist. It's so important that the children get an outlet that isn't us, and is impartial to the situation.

My kiddos are now 17 and 13 (they were 9 and 6 at the time of our separation). They know their dad is an addict. They NEED to know they are addicts, in order to properly protect themselves.

My children have learned much better boundaries, earlier in life, than I ever did.

Much love and luck sent your way. This is a really hard situation with children. My ex is the same guy he was when we were married. He comes and goes from their life. I just remind them that their dad is sick and loves them the best way he knows how - he stays away when he's in active addiction. Doesn't make it any easier on the kiddos, but there is an answer to his behaviour that doesn't have anything to do with them.

barcher144 posted 9/29/2020 08:38 AM

I do not disparage their Mom, but I don’t defend her in any way either.

If your wife is a Drug user it may be time to explain what addiction does to people.

The very best thing I did for my kiddos is to get them a therapist.

These are three quotes that stand out to me. I think that you need to "defend" their mom, or at least explain addiction to them. You need to explain their mother still loves them; it's just that she is very very sick. Getting them to a therapist can also help, especially someone who works in family systems.

Your kids are old enough to understand. Do not lie to them... but talk to them in a way that is "gentle" enough for their age.

annanew posted 9/29/2020 11:35 AM

If your wife is a Drug user it may be time to explain what addiction does to people.


Might be time to see if you can find some resources from support groups for families of addicts. They have a lot of good recommendations

For me... I think a scientific approach helps. What actually goes on in the brain. Why some brains are prone to addiction, others aren't. It might help lessen the impression that their mom is consciously making the kinds of choices she is making. At the same time, it's really important to get them skilled at enforcing boundaries. Mom might not be choosing the meth addict over her kids, not in the way they think, but often actions matter over intentions, so they can't put themselves in uncomfortable and unsafe environments just because mom can't help herself.

twicefooled posted 9/29/2020 12:26 PM

We were part of Alanon as well, amazing resources for families of addicts. I think I also went through NAMI for a bit.

There are lots of virtual resources now. Don't try to do this all on your own, it's crazy making.

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