My kids have been overhearing and being told things about our divorce they shouldn't be told. They constantly ask me about child support, which he doesn't pay. They have heard that daddy pays around $1000 a month, his live in girlfriend has to leave at 10 pm, etc.
All of theses things are not true. Our last hearing his girlfriend was suppose to move out by July 1, she has not, and not suppose to be around the kids from 8 pm to 7am.
As far as child support, he is suppose to pay no where near half $1000 a month, he does not.
Our kids are 10yr son and 8yr girl. They are very smart and know to much. I have had to finally say I have only 1 income that I receive money from and that their dad and I are ordered not to discuss our divorce (or anyone involved) to you (kids).
Please help in how I can handle more things being told about our divorce that the other party themselves can't understand what it says.
I don't want to talk bad or say anything negative about their dad.
Oh and his mom (ther grandma) has been telling them thins too (my guess is from what their dad tells her).
I'm not going to discuss the fact she has been misinformed from what her son says( she won't believe me).
I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this. Do you have lawyers who can address this issue legally??
I think the only thing you can do is be open and honest with your kids while being mindful of keeping the conversation to what they need to know. There's a point where it's not fair to just ignore their questions, so you need to find a way to address their concerns (no matter who gave them the info that's worrying them now) while being appropriate. It sucks that he's put you in this position but you just have to find a way to handle it gracefully.
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
Our youngest has just gone into silent mode where she doesn't speak about anything. She hints when she asks, sneaky. Reminds me a lot of me in how I just handle things in my own mind.
Our oldest he is acting out, I also keep in mind that he is going into 5th grade and that could by why he acts the way he does.
It's just my first time dealing with this. I just want to make sure I handle it correctly.
I have informed my lawyer.
Have you or anyone you know have had a social study done?
I don't know what a social study is. Is that like a custody evaluation?
Rosebud, it sounds like your x and his allies could be engaging in a parental alienation campaign (consciously or unconsciously). Were the children previously very open and agreeable with you? I would start reading up on how to counter the effects of this. Some titles that come to mind are "Toxic Divorce" and "Divorce Poison". "Hold onto Your Kids" (and other titles that address attachment/communication) may be helpful too.
I agree with Rubelin that honesty is best, and for the conversation to be at their developmental level. Sharing just the verifiable facts (without the interpretations so much) is still being respectful. But since you have a court order to not discuss divorce I would be very careful and probably not give any sort of response that the kids could then turn around and tell a custody evaluator or your ex. You may want to be able to prove that x is discussing the divorce with the kids....and it will make him look worse to a custody evaluator or judge. Be sure to document everything that the children tell you (note the time, date, context and what you said to them). You could ask your lawyer what kind of response would be okay in this situation. Or perhaps you could give a vague answer such as "When people divorce, one parent is usually required to pay child support to help the children to have a similar standard of living at both homes. The idea is to make it fair so that one parent doesn't get 5 disneyland trips while the other has none" (or whatever types of things your kids can relate to). Your father and I are in the process of working something out that will be fair. We both love you and will do our best to ensure your needs are met at both homes"
Other mamas might have better suggestions. I do, however, feel that in the long run, it is important to correct any misperceptions they have about the facts (within whatever is acceptable re. the court order), but also not say anything to cause them anxiety or to feel responsible. And to avoid being emotional about it. They deserve to have all the facts on the table so that they can then come up with their own perceptions about the situation. Otherwise, if all they hear is misinformation - they may start to believe it and start buying into x's brainwashing. Do you have access to counsellors for the children?
If it's clear that x is discussing the divorce (in spite of the order) you can remind him in subtle ways about the order. If he continues to violate it, then you might try to bring it up to the people who could influence custody decisions. And if nothing gets done about the court violation, then you may want to consider not having that order at all (since it's not helping him behave, and it would then allow you to speak truthfully to the kids without recourse).
Yes our kids were open and it seemed that my 8 year old spoke more about it and asked lots and lots of questions. Now the roles are reversed. She is reserved, observant, and my 10 year old son is acting out.
He just cancelled insurance so when he sets that up again I will have them attend a counselor. I wanted to wait until a social study is done. My lawyer requested one because he has a live in girlfriend with her 2 kids (she gets them every other week).
I will ask the social worker what she feels is best after the studies are done. I only know that she meets with the kids alone individually, with parent and kids and ask lots of questions. I TRUELY feel I still have my kids trust, but since this is new to me I'm not certain... I appreciate all the advise. I'm going to look into those readings now.