Reality Check

Carolyn Magner

Call your kids

| October 23, 2012

Dear Carolyn,

My ex-husband is a real piece of work. He asked for a divorce via text message and things went downhill from there. He’s a terrible father, never sees our two little boys, and only pays child support because I took him to court. My boys keep asking if daddy will be coming home soon and I’ve tried to let them down gently. I don’t want to be the kind of person who trashes her ex but I can’t keep making excuses for him either.

What should I tell my sons? They are 7 and 9 years old and worship their father. A phone call from him now and then would mean a lot but he doesn’t even call them. Maybe you could print this to remind the dads out on the road that a quick call or text means the world to their kids.

Alice

Dear Alice,

As much as you want to, you can’t fix this for your sons. They drew the short stick of luck in the daddy lottery. However, your attitude can shape how they feel about the situation. Do what you are doing. Be matter-of-fact about the divorce. Don’t embellish or bash their dad and be sure to remind them that the divorce is about the parents, not the children. I would lower their expectations and try to help them move on. Kids are amazingly resilient.

I’m sorry you have to go through this. You sound like a nice person and I wish you well. It’s not easy to be a single parent. And to the single dads out there? Call your kids!

I’m just say’n,

Carolyn

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