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Not in Front of the Children

I work with a lot of single moms and having been one myself, I can admit it’s one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Raising a child by yourself with no financial and emotional support is tough.

My son's father went out one day for a quart of milk and disappeared for three weeks. Of course, he had a drug problem, so after a while I got used to his disappearing acts, but that didn’t make them any easier. The last straw was when he went out for a pack of cigarettes and ended up in California for over three years.

I had to be careful to never put him down in front of my son because, after all, half of the DNA that made up my son belonged to this man. I’m sure there were times when I was venting to friends and I referred to him as a jerk or even worse but I worked really hard to never let my son hear me say those things. Children don’t forget what they hear about the people that made them and they internalize those negative words.

After I married my husband, I remember asking my son to do certain chores around the house. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, when my real dad shows up, I won’t have to do these things and you’ll be sorry. “ With all the patience I could muster, I looked back at him and said, “Well, until he shows up, you still have to do your chores. “ Of course it was 18 years before he showed up...

Children shouldn’t be expected to bear the burden for adult decisions. If you’re fortunate enough to be a parent, parent responsibly. Don’t take your frustration with your child’s parent out on the child. You chose that person, your child didn’t. Your child is just the blessing that came from your decision. Children are living proof that God really does use all things for the good.

Because our words have the power of life and death, choose yours wisely when talking to your children about their other birth parent. Help them grow up confident in who they are, proud of who they are, and secure in who they are. You picked their other parent, they didn't. Don't make them pay for the decisions you made. Children are a heritage from the Lord; celebrate them and help them to be proud of your choice for life.


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