Raising Children with a Bitter Parent

We recently read the following excerpt from the book “Raising Children in Blended Families,” in the chapter entitled “The Consequences of a Bitter Parent:”

Raising Children in Blended Families 1

The biological mother in this particular situation was creating more emotional pain for her children.  When the children visited their father, they carried with them extra baggage — lots of guilt for leaving Mom home alone.  Anyone knows this is unfair to the children.

Unfortunately, we know all to well how this scenario can harm the children — from first hand experience.  We’ll never forget my husband’s 7 and 9 year old daughters telling us how their mother behaved after they spent Christmas with us:  crying hysterically and asking them why they didn’t want to spend the holiday with her.  There was a court order in place; it was the father’s turn for Christmas visitation; yet the mother made her children feel guilty about spending that holiday with their father.

And that emotional baggage stayed with those children well into adulthood.   Even after they were adults, they told their father:  “We have to spend [insert various holidays:  Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.] with Mom, because she’s home all alone.”

Can anyone honestly say this is not Child Abuse?

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