Innocent Bystanders of Parental Wrath
The unfortunate phenomenon of kids being poisoned by a parent’s (or any adult caretaker’s) rage towards another adult in a kid’s family is so nasty, but all too common. Why are parents so oblivious to the damage they are inflicting onto their child out of their anger towards someone other than their innocent child?
Seriously. Wake Up. Open your eyes and look at who the recipient of your rage really is -your innocent child. Such seething and reckless anger dangerously injects the wrong target – your children – when it is acted out by them being dragged into something that is really none of their business. Please – for the sake of these children, own your anger, work through it in conscious, productive, and healthy ways. Find it worthy to muster up enough courage to get help as needed in order to do this.
Common scenario: A kid’s parent (or adult caregiver) becomes embittered towards another adult in their child’s life — perhaps their other parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc., and the embittered parent responds by injecting the CHILD with harmful anecdotal accounts portraying the other adult as not loving the child in some way. This is done to rally support, garner sympathy, and often in older children can nurse a grudge or put a wedge up in between the child and the other adult where there otherwise would not be one, while simultaneously coercing the child to choose loyalties and protect the parent who is in fact the one injecting them with this poisonous vengeance. This is often done in the guise of being a victim. It’s highly effective with children because it exploits their innocence, vulnerability, and dependability on the adult who is initiating this tactic. It’s sickly manipulative when it continues as a pattern after chances to correct and amend it have been neglected.
I realize there are indeed incidents where a parent in a child’s life truly makes the outright decision to abandon and abdicate their rights and responsibilities that come with providing care for their own child. That is not what I am referring to in this post. When that happens, the adult(s) that remain in the child’s life who want to support that child need to intentionally provide healing for the abandonment and neglect of the parent that fled. This often involves sharing the hurtful truth in a sensitive way that is focused on the child’s feelings and self-concept following parental abandonment. This is not done by emphasizing how the parent who left did not love them or want them. That is not why a parent fleas, it is because a parent does not have the wherewithal to be a parent. This has nothing to do with the child’s loveability or worth. It is about the parent’s extreme limits, not about the limits of the child’s worthiness of love and care.
When one parent is hurt and angry by the other parent, and they turn around and tell their child that daddy or mommy doesn’t love them and want to see them, that is injecting the child with poison because you’re angry at the other parent. The child is an innocent bystander that has now become the recipient of your wrath. How is this loving and fair to the child? It’s not at all. It is harmful, and though it is hard and often requires a ton of courage and help to avoid doing – it is completely preventable and up to you to take on, for the sake of your own child as well as your own well being.
I get how difficult it is to not act out of spite when you are hurt and feeling completely wronged by your ex or some other adult in your child’s life. But your child shouldn’t be expected to be so understanding as they get dragged into something they didn’t cause. They are innocent and do not need to get dragged in the middle. So please – get help to keep them out of it. Get honest with yourself. If you’re struggling to protect your children from your own pain and bitterness, no matter how valid your pain and bitterness may be, it is never valid to throw your child in the midst of it and inject them with poison as you seethe with anger towards your ex or whomever the adult is that you are actually angry at.