When talking to your children, your words matter and make a difference when talking to your children.
One of my boys was home for dinner and he brought Chinese food. Lots of it. He knows my favorite is lo mein, so he got me one and one for himself, along with orange chicken, sesame chicken, soup, extra rice, and a hand full of fortune cookies.
It was enough food for both of us to have 3 meals.
One of his reasons for getting me my own lo mein is that he didn’t want to share his.
It was an instant reminder of his dad.
When his dad and I were dating, we went to McDonald’s one day and when we ordered food he asked me if I wanted french fries. I said no. When we sat down to eat I took one of his.
He had a fit. He said there were just enough there for him.
I was shocked. How can there be just enough for him. Maybe they put more in than usual so that there would be one extra for me!
Did he count them to know there was just enough for him?
Honestly, to this day, I still shake my head at his response. I always share my food. It’s the way I was brought up.
Obviously, we were brought up differently!
For him, there was no sharing his fries. Especially since he asked me if I wanted him to order me some and I said no.
While I never understand not sharing, we found a compromise. In the future, he always bought me a small order of fries, even if I only wanted one.
That way, he didn’t have to share and if I didn’t want all of them, he could have the rest.
To me, that was an outrageous solution however, it’s how we moved forward.
So, when eating with my son, he said he got me my own lo mein so that he didn’t have to share. I said, you sound just like your dad. It was a natural response. I didn’t mean anything by it, but it was an immediate reminder of his dad.
Tonight when my son stopped by after work, he said he had been thinking about my comment about his dad. He said that I always say negative things about his dad and that’s why it bothered him.
Had me thinking, and now I’m writing about about how words matter, for a few reasons.
His dad and I have been divorced for over 20 years.
My son is in his 30’s. I would have thought we were long past this, but apparently not.
Maybe I’m naive, maybe my son is going through some things that I don’t know about, but I need to be respectful of his feelings.
His dad has made things difficult for many years.
Even last year he created havoc for my other son. I’d like to think I speak the truth, but maybe that’s not the right thing.
Part of me wants to say that my son is an adult and I should be able to say what I want. I’m well aware of how words matter.
I’ve always thought I was careful with what I said when he was a teenager. I didn’t think I’d need to worry about this 10 years later.
Perhaps I’m wrong.
Third, while his dad has made things difficult, I have to be respectful of my sons feelings. Words matter and keeping things positive can have more of an influence than we might realize. I think I’m positive but maybe I need to pay more attention to what I’m saying.
Most people get divorced for a reason. My main reason was for my own safety but one of the underlying reasons was our parenting styles were very different. My ex did so many reckless things as a parent. He never thought he was wrong.
In my podcast episode, Children First, I talk a lot about why it’s important to put your children first.
If I’m talking negative, I’m really not much better. No matter how bad your ex is, remember, your words matter. Keep your comments positive as much as possible post divorce.
There might be some long range impact that you aren’t aware of if you don’t!
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ABOUT THE HOST
Divorce Exposed is a project created by Debbie DeChambeau, CIC, AAI, CPIA. Debbie is an insurance agent with an extensive business and marketing background. She has been in the insurance industry and has a thorough understanding of policy coverages, exclusions and enhancements.
If you have questions about insurance issues around your divorce, connect with her.
In addition to being an insurance agent, she is the co-author of Renewable Referrals and hosts two other podcasts The Business of Insurance, and Business in Real Life Seniors We Love and coming soon Single and over Sixty.