Children come first

I have many divorced friends and acquaintances, and readers, and I am constantly shocked that are those parents who do not put their children first. Maybe because I am a mama bear, but it is so hard for me to understand how mothers / fathers can ignore the best interests of the kids, in order to punish or hurt their ex. How they use their kids as pawns to exact their revenge.

Where does that get anyone? It just piles more stress on the kids – and makes them even more conflicted about who they are “allowed” to love.

A child, any child, has the right to be able to love both parents equally without prejudice or judgment. No adult has the right to tell a child not to love the other parent. That the other parent is evil or bad. If you tell a child that the donor of half of their genetic material is inferior – what does that tell a child about himself / herself? That they are no good?

Parents – please, put your children first. Always. It shouldn’t even be a discussion.

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11 Comments

  1. Miriam Shenny says:

    Yes you are very correct it should not be a discussion. Unfortunatley it does happen only to often. My eldest son who it coming up for 16 lives with his father now, I never see him, he wont call me, text me have anything to do with me. Every friday I write him a text wishing him Good Shabbos and so on, I have nothing coming baack my way. One day I know he will be at my door saying Mummy!!

  2. Ralph says:

    Would you stop blogging if it will benefit your children? That’s the test. I was faced with it and let’s just say it was murder.

  3. fille says:

    I think in general those parents who don’t put the children first tend to think that the other party is the aggressor.

    I suppose that quite harmless misunderstandings or organisational errors or thoughtlessness or whatever can add up to a vicious circle.

    I liked best the stepmom blogger who read a book “don’t put the child in the middle” and asked “how can I explain this to the biomom?”. Not seeing that she also was doing exactely that: using the child as a bargaining chip in a dispute.

  4. IMA2FOUR7 says:

    As usual Hadassah, I totally agree with you.
    When people learn I am raising my four children on my own and say:”Oh you must have your hands full!” I always say: “full of joy”. I say this while internally acknowledging that there are times when it is more oy than joy.
    I believe this is what I should be doing with my life and I am blessed to be able to do so.
    I had my childhood already, I am the adult here. Their father and I got the divorce they didn’t ask for this, they are just children. And they since they are my children it is my job (read my life) to have my hands full.
    When a divorced mom, friend of mine, mentioned what was happening with her X the other day, and I told her to put it away. As adults we let things go because holding onto anger can only hurt our children. They are powerless and the misuse of power and poor placement of anger is no good for anyone neither children nor parent.

  5. Batya says:

    AMEN!
    When neighbors separated, the experts tried to convince them that it wasn’t good to live in the same neighborhood, but in actuality, it was the best for the kids. It made the “visits” much easier and allowed them to continue their Shabbat social activities, youth movement etc. Eventually the father moved away, but by then the kids were ready.

  6. just thinking says:

    So wish that everything were that simple. Of course every child needs both parents and the guarantee of a relationship free from strain. You are very lucky that the exes in your picture have not caused the strain and are not living a lifestyle difficult to accept, let alone have children constantly exposed to. My neighbor has 3 children under the age of 8. Her ex left frumkeit completely and is now living with a non Jewish woman. The courts say that the kids spend every other weekend (Shabbos) in this situation. I can’t even imagine how mom and the kids are getting through this. I think someone should shake some sense into the man- not criticize mom for her less than enthusiastic goodbyes to the kids every other Friday.

  7. sad. says:

    I grew up with a kid where she didn’t come first.
    If anything she came in dead last.
    To her father – his wife came first – her daughter was treated better by the father then his real daughter .
    and she had severe issues with her mothers husband.
    very hard to watch.

  8. JewishMOM.com says:

    this is really important, thanks hadassah!

  9. Rebecca D says:

    I am a child of devorce I am very lucky because my parents never spoke a bad word about the other, but friends of mine who were also children of divorce didn’t have it so lucky. Each of them ended up in the hospital with stomack problems. PROBLEMS that didn’t appear on any medical charts. I’ve seen this psychological stuff over and over in my friend’s kids too, who have the war of the roses type devorce. I BEG my friends please don’t talk about your spouse in a bad way in front of the kids it only hurts the child.
    This also applies to step families. I have a Step mom and step dad both are terrific people. Some of my friends have step kids and are so angry at thier spouse’s ex that they talk about him/her in front of the kids. Its devestating to the children they didn’t ask to be in this battle. It also hampers having a really good relationship with these children.

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