When you have to tell them something bad about daddy... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I made a vow that I would never speak badly to my children about their father. They've never heard me say a bad thing about him, and I've always kept my opinion of him to myself. This morning though, I got to read in the paper about his sentencing for his second DUI (I didn't know he'd had a second one, but apparently he did last summer). This time he will be losing his license and will do jail time. The first time was just about a month before he left us. The kids and I had to pick him up at the police station, but they were only told that he had been in an accident (which was the truth - they were 9, 5 and three months at the time, so the limited information made sense). Now my oldest is thirteen, and I'm just afraid that if I don't tell her someone else will, and she will not only be caught off-guard, but she will feel like I'm keeping things from her. I want to sit her down later today and tell her, matter of factly, that daddy did something wrong and will have to face the consequences for that. Obviously I won't be telling the little one (she's four) and I'm not sure what, if anything I should tell my son. Honestly, this will affect them very little, because daddy isn't a great prescence in their lives, and they often go a month or so without seeing him anyway. Anyone have any advice for how I should handle this, other than talking to my thirteen year old about it, keeping it truthful but matter of fact, and keeping my anger/sadness/disappointment to myself? Thanks.
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#2 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I think I would keep the younger ones away from the police station, if possible. I'm sure you thought of that. But that can be scary and confusing.

Who else would tell the 13 year old? Who else knows about his situation?

I'd only tell her if his behavior was a danger to her, I think. I wouldn't want the kids to know he was in jail unless there was no way around it.
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#3 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh no worries - none of them will be going there. It was in today's paper, so everyone in our area would be able to know about it. At thirteen she could find out at school, from friends, she could read it in the paper herself at school tomorrow for all I know. He will only be serving time on weekends - he has work release. At least that's how I understand it. Of course, he didn't even have the balls to tell me himself, I got to find out from my dad who read about his sentencing in the paper this morning.

Sometimes it amazes me that this kind of stuff is affecting my life...
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#4 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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Ug. That sucks that it's in the paper.


I have to say, I'm a big fan of child therapists as a preventative tool when things like this happen.
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#5 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's all well and good, but it's a little late for that now! kekeke
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#6 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:20 PM
 
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I wouldn't hide facts like this from my child(ren). But I would be careful about how I presented it.

There's a huge difference between saying "Your daddy is a complete loser who cant stay sober and he's finally in jail, where I hope he rots forever. Na nanana he lost his liscence." and saying "Even grownups make mistakes sometimes, and Daddy made a pretty big mistake this time. He was caught driving while drunk, which is very dangerous and against the law. He no longer has a driver's liscence, and he may have to go to jail as well."

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#7 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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I think I'd just do my best to be factual and honest with her. Let her know that daddy did a bad thing, why it is bad, and that now he has to face the consequences just like she does when she misbehaves. I might show her the article.

Ali, mama to my amazing Arabella 1/14/06
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#8 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
"Your daddy is a complete loser who cant stay sober and he's finally in jail, where I hope he rots forever. Na nanana he lost his liscence."
Perfect! You've given me the exact words I was looking for! ;-)

Thanks everyone, you've basically reaffirmed that I was on the right track...

Hugs!
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#9 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and get this! According to a website I was just checking out, since this is his second he will probably have to get one of those ignition interlock things - AND my car is still in both of our names. I'm going to look into having the title transferred into just my name tomorrow....
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#10 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I already told her. I wanted to tell her and give her time to think about it before she goes to youth group tonight and school tomorrow. I doubt anyone will say anything, but it was in the paper so it is public knowledge. I just told her that just like she gets punished if she does something that she *knows* is against a rule at home or school, Dad is getting punished for breaking the law. Ugh.
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#11 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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just wanted to say that work release is still jail...he'll get his shift + half hour travel time there and back. I think he also will have to have his supervisor sign off that he showed up and what time and what time he left etc.

my aunt was in work release after she got out of prison for attempting to smother my cousin.

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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#12 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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what about alanon or alateen?
they could explain that daddy has a disease and what it means, they will also help you if any codependant alcholism things start popping up.

8 might be enough
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#13 of 15 Old 04-15-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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I'm a firm believer of telling kids the truth and providing information to them in amounts they can handle.

Even young children can understand that there are *rules* for everyone and when a person breaks a rule, they often face certain consequences.

As people, we also all make mistakes. Some make bigger mistakes and make them more frequently than others, but we all do things, at times, that we may regret later. It is a good time for discussion about thinking of how our choices impact others and ourselves.
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#14 of 15 Old 04-16-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
what about alanon or alateen?
they could explain that daddy has a disease and what it means, they will also help you if any codependant alcholism things start popping up.
I think this would be a really good idea. Even if your dd only attended a couple times. My best
friend's mother had a drinking problem, and she attended a couple of meetings when she was
younger. She said the best thing she got out of it was a sense of not being "the only one". Plus
it helped her in the future to stay clear of certain situations with alcohol in her own life.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#15 of 15 Old 04-16-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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It sounds like now is a good time to explain that in order to drive, people need to be sober, and pay attention to the road and that if someone is ever trying to drive them around under the influence they should refuse to get in the car if possible, and be sure to tell someone about it later.

It would suck to lose a child in a drunk driving accident.
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