Dear Parents

Home and Family Parenting The First Year


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Please note that the following column is a compilation of situations that I have heard about over the years and is NOT to be confused with any one family.

Dear Parents:

We always thought that you were good parents but now we're confused and hurt and angry. We thought that you should have told us that you weren't going to be married anymore and we didn't believe it when other people were talking about it. Then you lied. You said you were "here for us". How can you be "here for us" when you live in two different places?

We used to always know where you were and what you were doing. Now you have new cell phone numbers and we don't know them. Sometimes when we call your place you don't answer. We were so scared one time when we were in the Emergency and couldn't find you and didn't know how to let you know that we needed you!

We feel sad and abandoned. You said you left the marriage but we think it was us you left. You said that God led you to this but why would He ruin our family? And why don't you go to church anymore?

Now we're angry. You found someone else to love and keep telling us how happy you are. Don't you care that we miss you and have nightmares and feel sick and are embarrassed that other people are talking about our family? What happened to the kids in that other family? Are they feeling like we are?

Now we have to listen to our other parent cry and talk on the phone for hours about the problem. We want to scream "Won't someone pay attention!"

We're trying hard to do everything you taught us - like be polite and responsible and loyal - but you aren't. You said that people have to earn respect and then want us to respect you. That's hard because sometimes we just want to hurt you and hope you will get the message and change.

Our therapist explained that it was like we were all in a Spiderman play. We had our costumes, knew our lines and had practised until we could play our roles without thinking. After all that practise it is opening night and you decide that we should do "The Wizard of Oz". No one, including you, knows what to wear, or say, or do, or sing, or dance. Even our grandparents are confused and sometimes say things to us that hurt like "You should be so grateful"!

Please don't get us wrong. We loved you and needed you. We're just not sure what we feel now because the anger is so hot and something is pushing on our stomachs until we want to throw up.

We don't want to hear about how long you didn't love each other or how this is "the best thing that could happen to you". We're just little kids and don't know how to handle that kind of information. That's why we needed you - to help us to grow up. Sometimes we think that we are more grown up than you.

If we had a magic wand that worked maybe we could make the family "normal" again - only better than it was - but we can't. And by the way, we don't want to pick sides. We thought we were all on the same side.

Thanks for listening to us. We were starting to think that you didn't care what we thought. You keep saying that all you care about is us. Well, all we care about is gone - changed and we don't like it.

Please don't keep saying that you love us but then don't show it. We need you to help us get the costumes and learn the lines and do the rehearsals so that we can be in this new play. Oh, and if you can't do this would you please find someone who can help?

Love (we think) Your kids


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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