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Painful Truth

Last week, one of my daughter's teacher stopped me in the hallway to talk.  She mentioned a writing assignment that was given days earlier.  The kids were asked to write if they ever had to overcome something difficult and to say what they did to get through it.  At the end of the class everyone was asked to share what they had written and my daughter flatly refused.  I asked her teacher if that was problem.  She said no.  She just wanted me to know that my daughter had written about the divorce and asked if I wanted to read it.  I told her thanks but no thanks.  I want her to keep her privacy.  If she wants to share it with me, then she will bring it home and read it to me. 

She then adds that one of her classmates blurted out in class that the reason why she probably didn't want to read her paper was because it had something to do with her Mom and Dad's divorce.  Another student chimes in and says to my daughter, "you'll  never know what happens, sometimes parents do get back together." 

According to her teacher, my daughter then says in front of her whole entire class, "I don't want that for my MOM." 
Mahal1023 Mahal1023 46-50, F 33 Responses Mar 7, 2011

Your Response


I wonder everyday why did my mum live miserably with my father, as a matter of fact, I wish she had gotten a divorce loooong time back and looked for her happiness with another man. I wouldn't care if I had a step father, it would have been much better because I would know that she is happy and because I may have had a proper father. I just want to say that as a person who grew up in a miserable marriage, I believe divorce is absolutely the right answer, divorce may have been a difficult experience that your daughter had to go through, but it would have been even more difficult and worse if she had to witness her parents hating and fighting each other.

Nice of the teacher to air your families dirty laundry in front of your daughter's class.

I think you mis- read this story. The teacher never forced my daughter to read her paper nor did she share what it was about to the class either. It was one of her friends who blurted it out so that everyone would be more empathetic to her as to why she didn't care to read it out aloud.

Amazing young lady you have

Thank you. I hope people reading this don't think that my daughter doesn't love her father. She adores him. She's smart enough to know that we didn't belong together.

Kids can be curl with out even knowing that they are. It's up to the parents to teach them when it is right time to speak there minds.

You have a strong daughter. She said no to the teacher, and no to the entire class.
Good for her. She'll go far.

That reply tell a lot of things, good luck to both of you. Whatever hardships you have suffered matter, but you should be thankful to have such a child.

Thank you. Even on the toughest days I feel really blessed to have her. Her saying that in no way reflects how she feels about her father. She does love him.

Wow i can imagine that there are no words for how you felt in that moment. Even tough my daughter is only four i feel like she will one day tell me the same thing for being with her dad and i don't think i would know what to tell her. Because the reason that I even stay with him is to give her stability in her life to have a father around since i never did. I know that in the long run your daughter will open up to you and tell you her feelings i think that respecting her privacy like you said is a good idea. sometimes we think that kids don't understand the depth of what is going on but they do they understand much more than what we give them credit for. good luck

Darlene you're not doing your daughter any favors by staying with someone who is abusive and does not make you happy. What your daughter needs us a mother who is happy, healthy and thriving. You do not have to be a couple in order to co-parent your daughter. Time is too precious. Do not waste any of it. Trust me when I say this, the older your daughter gets the harder it will be for you to do what you already need to do. Good luck

My daughter has Come to live with us full time and only sees her mother once a week now mainly to see her half brother and sister. It was painful to watch her learn the truth about her mother even though I benefit. Stay strong and honest for her and always do and say the honorable thing. You can't go wrong. Although I'd never go back to my first wife, I always wish it was different between my daughter and her mother. Never talk bad about the ex, the kids see the truth. Good luck to you both.

Whether they agree with my choices or reasoning, both my Ex and my daughter knows that I will always do right by her. We dont have a strict visitation schedule. If he wanted to see her every night he could. I will even go as far as taking her out of school and driving her to see her father. I will never get in the way of that nor do I ever say anything derogatory about her father. Her father's inability to be emotionally available to her is painful enough. I have and will continue to point out that her father has always been very dutiful regarding his financial responsibilities to her and has been more than generous. I remind her this often. While she's grateful, its just not enough for her. I wrote this story awhile ago so can't remember if I pointed this out. My daughter has accepted that our marriage was broken. What she struggles with is her dysfunctional relationship with her father. Also, she sees him as a better man and a better father to his new family.

It's a familiar story. I feel the same about my daughter and her mother's new family. She felt slighted when the ex would choose the younger kids over her. It's difficult to watch. Hope I didn't come across as preaching, I just was touched by the similarities in our stories. Children need that solid foundation so they feel safe when growing and exploring their way in life. You seem like her anchor in rough seas. god bless you.

Thomas, she's a handfull. There are days I ask myself why I thought being Mom was such a great idea.

427SS, thank you for the compliment. We are work in progress and most of the time I feel as though we are just barely treading water. Here is what I want to point out. Kids aren't the ones that get divorced. They should always have both parents regardless or not they share the same rooms. The most well adjusted and emotionally stable kids are ones where the divorced parents equally share duties and disciplining. My daughter is struggling because she doesn't feel that she is a priority in her fathers life not because her parents divorced.

My youngest son had to fill out a "Ten things I wish my parents knew about me" in the fifth grade. Number 1 was "I wish they weren't getting divorced". He was always a very private child. I got him to agree to see a therapist. He actually vented to a complete stranger that one time, and the therapist felt that was all he needed. He's almost 21 now, on dean's list at his school, and has two majors and a social life. A normal young man.<br />
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I do like it that you respected your daughter's privacy. I always told my kids that their thoughts were private and I would never pry any further than to ask if anything was wrong. They are both open with me to this day, and I believe that's because I have always given them that respect. She will feel free to speak with you if she knows you'll respect her thoughts.<br />
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Best of luck!

I love this!! I have gone thru two painful abusive (VERY emotionally and physically) divorces that affectted my children more than people EVER realize! My adult children to this day tell me the pain NEVER leaves ....and their dad has been remarried 5 times..( i was his first) and he is divorcing his 5th wife as i write this. I lived with a beautiful wonderful English man that i never will figure why i left or never married to this day.....but long story. He pampered and spoiled me and my children...then i somehow got tangled with a so called Sunday School teacher and the sh*it hit the fan. I got pregnant and he had already gotten a women pregnant ( i didnt know this at the time) ....another long long story... She had been kicked out of HIS church.. Oh he didnt get her pregnant??? hmmm..interesting!!!<br />
Come to find out..............Going thru his things after i was heartbroken and not knowing what to do , english man begging me to come home and he would raise my child as his own , he was very sorry, etc...i ran across a photo of my very good friend whom we knew at the country club, whose man had left her when she got pregnant and his church had miscommunicated her.....YEP!! it was my friend and the "*****" he had talked about ..!!!<br />
needless to say........Here i am, 11 years later , my marriage never felt like a marriage and he has made my life miserable , a control freak , 100 times worse than the first husband. <br />
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He has never tried to hide his hatred for me ...yet i have never done anything toward him or his family. His mother has been one mil from hell. No matter what i do i cant win in this community . They have power, money and pull and dont mind being crooked or mean<br />
I feel what goes around...comes around. They go to church but i still feel ....Not everyone who cries LORD LORD will make it to the kingdom of Heaven.<br />
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Kids see . Way more than we ever know!<br />
Hold on. Sometimes we just wanna scream. BUT in the long run...I still believe the right man will win.<br />
Sometimes it really sux . "a little child shall lead them"<br />
My daughter only recently wrote a paper that said. " My mom and dad had breakfast together the other day on the way to one of my competitions. It almost felt like they were still married! I loved it"<br />
She was not quite THREE when we we split......... Shes 14. Dont THINK kids dont hold the world of burden in the hearts. They do. We can only do our best to make it easier. MY EX is sure not going to do anything but think of himself so its up to me. <br />
You sound like an awwwwwsum Mom!!!

Thank you KatNW1.

Cfrman.....I always make it clear to my daughter that I am her MOTHER not her friend. Friends work things out and come up with compromises. It's my job to make the best decisions I think will be for her benefit. The assignment was a simple one. Most students talk about their difficulties with school subjects or sports or something simple. Very few reveal something so personal. At the time, I think that's what was in her mind and in her heart so she wrote about the divorce. Thank you for the kind words.

Its hard to be a parent and a friend, Going to see a theripist was the right answer, My parents never divorced they were married till Dad died, <br />
I married a Single Mom with two boys 13 and 10, To say it was a challenge is an understatement!<br />
My thoughts about the writeing assignment are for me I would never have done it as I was very insecure and felt unloved in life. I hated school and I was afraid of my Dad. For the most part except for rules that were enforced with Bully tactics I have always been a loner. My wife came from a Divorced family and she went threw it herself.<br />
I was engaged and was devistated when she left me. <br />
I am sure as a teacher and a Mother you know alot about Kids and what they go through, You have a very brave and wise young Lady in your care and it sounds to me like you are both on the right path.<br />
Life can deal out some bad life experiences, and it can bring some good one! she will find friends who will help her and hinder her! But she will always have her Mom and it sounds to me like she has a good one! <br />
She will always have her Dad and even though it sounds like he is not there or he really isn't she will mend some of the things if she has not already with him .<br />
Good or Bad you did the right thing in not reading her letter as it was said before it is for her to ell and you were there also so to share with the class those thoughts could back fire and cause more hurt then healing.Just because your Daughter is got a Great Mom and the help she needs does not mean the other Kids do also.<br />
Big Hugs to both of you

My divorce was a long and painful ordeal, and there were severe problems for a long time. To my own shame, I didn't handle it very well and was a long time in coming back from it. I did my share of damage, but tried my very best to exclude him from witnessing it. But still, he saw the effect it had on me, and though I was always physically present for him, there were too many times when I wasn't emotionally present for his benefit.<br />
During the period of the divorce, his school work plummeted, so we enrolled him in a private school, which he will graduate with honors from this year. As well, we sent him to therapy, some of which I 'sat-in' on at his and the therapists' requests. It's been a long and arduous journey, and other than his mother, nobody quit trying.<br />
My son is entering manhood, and he's a gentleman with a good heart, a good soul and has a good head on his shoulders. In spite of what he's been through, I believe he's going to be ok There is no way to remove the scars, but he knows how to deal with what results from them.<br />
Every adult friend I have has offered without solicitation, what a fine young man he is, and I can't help but beam from it.<br />
I have dated a lot since the divorce, was even engaged once, and he became friends with some of these women, and is still friends with them today. At no point did I ever elude myself into believing that they could Love him as I do, or even as a mother does. And though they Love him in their own way, no one can Love your children like you do. There are people out there, I'm sure, that would make great partners as well as have a positive impact on your kids, but there are no 'replacements'. I think most of that is on the part of the child. even if the time and genuine effort is there, the child will inevitably wonder, "why doesn't my real mom/dad treat me like this?" I have always encouraged a friendship with my son but was never looking for a mother for him. Good, bad or indifferent, he has one.<br />
But the bottom line is this: It takes effort to come back from a life that was convoluted by circumstances out of your control. You can't just sit back and hope everything gets better and works out. And that's what I hear in your relationship with your daughter Mahal, and kudo's to you!!!

Thanks Angel. I know when she hurts because she'll come to me wanting to be held. She'll jump into bed with me and want to snuggle. When she gets clingy like that, I know there's something going on in her mind that's hurting her. I believe a lot of the times she doesn't know understand how she's feeling because she doesn't learned how to process it all yet. She will continue seeing a therapist until her pediatrician and I agree that she no longer needs it. In the meantime, I can keep reassuring her that I am here for her. And thank you.....your support means a lot to me. I love you..T.....

out of the mouths of babes, Sis. While I think the teacher was looking out for you, and had no ill intentions, I can only imagine the thoughts and concerns it has brought up for you. Me personally? Do as you've done thus far, when she is ready, she'll come to you. I speak from experience. <br />
In the meantime, I'm here for you, just as you've been here for me. Love you xxxxxx

WIB, Shorty and Malaika.....honestly....there's nothing admirable about me not wanting to read my daughter's story. I already know what she must have written. I've watched her have her emotional breakdowns these past few years. We've had to rebuild our relationship and create a stronger bond as a family. While she knows and wants better for me, the man that she doesn't think I should be with is still her father. My father was everything to me....I can't imagine what my poor baby must be going through having to come to a realization like that. I don't want that for any child. Thank you all for your kind words.

A wise and unselfish child. She has obvious observed why the divorce came about and loves you enough to want better for you. I have recently been going through a divorce myself and I have found so much comfort from my 10 year old son who over the years has experienced his father's ill treatment of me. Although he is hurt by all this, he understands that it is for the better. Children are alot wiser than we give them credit for. You are blessed with a beautiful daughter.

As others have said, it was admirable that you thought to allow your daughter to tell you what she was feeling, rather than reading her story. Somewhat surprising that the teacher would have asked this of students. The classroom is not an appropriate open forum for children to express such things I feel. I think we often underestimate how much children do understand. They often take what they witness at face value ... the problem arises when they don't have the maturity to always interpret it correctly. Heaven knows as adults we have enough problems with this! But she has come to the conclusion that you are in a better place at least, which does support your position, which must be reassuring somewhat. It sounds like you've come through a very tough time and I'm sure it's not over yet ... but I wish you well to handle the challenges to come. We all know that parenting is a difficult job and it sounds as if you are doing well thus far.

Itshisworld, Thank you for the kind words. I write the stories for me. My mind is always going in so many directions and by me writing a story..I have to stop and really think about what's bothering me and it forces me to face it. I'm good at pushing things to the side.

I have the most respect for you. As a mother myself, I know how tempting it may be to want to pick apart your childs brain to see the jist of how they feel at certain times. You are very syrong and self suffient to be raising a daughter who clearly follows in her mothers footsteps. Though the struggle maybe hard, it shows that your daughter and yourself have made the best out of it for the two of you. Thank you for sharing your story, and being so open. Your an amazing mother and your doing a wonderful job. Let your daughter prove that to you.

Idc8973, one of the biggest guilt I will always have is how our divorce and separation was handled. My poor baby had emotional breakdowns, anxiety attacks, separation anxiety, bedwetting, etc. etc. I knew that the situation was more than I can handle because I was dealing with a lot myself. Her father was against it because he felt that she should come to us. The thing is, kids need someone neutral to talk to so they can sort out their thoughts. Her pediatrician was adamant about putting her into therapy. While we have joint custody, I have physical custody so it's not like he could stop me from taking her to see a therapist. In the end, he came around because he had no choice in the matter. I work at a school and often assist families in need. There are so many resources out there available to meet children's needs. You just have to seek it out. My Ex came from a familly of divorce. It was always his intention that we stay married. He wanted to be around for my daughter while she was growing up. I didn't see any point in it. He wasn't a more attentive father nor did he put any effort on us being a true family. I just got tired of holding on to something that didn't exist. Thank you for the compliment.

As a now grown child of divorce, I thank you for getting your daughter therapy. It's great that you can afford that for her. My mom wanted to convince herself that I would be fine, but 11 years later, I really wish that I had gotten therapy long ago for the problems now bubbling up in my adult relationships. Keep up your strength- you're a great mom! daughter has always been very inquisitive and vocal about anything and everything. She would say things to her why don't you kiss her? She would tell me...Mom I had a great time but I wish Daddy was here with us. I have been quite aware of her feelings and doubts even when we were married. The issues that my daughter has isn't the divorce itself. It's the lack of connection she has with her father that she's having difficulty with. Getting use to the fact that our family is now just the two of us takes some getting use to too. I'm glad she's finding ways to express her feelings and hope that she continues to. I don't want her to hold anything back.

It seems like your daughter is symphathetic towards you needs. Sometimes you never know what your kids are thinking and writing. We actually don't realize it that our kids has feelings and doubts about divorce too. And if writing about it helps then that a blessing on your part.

I think I'm really good at hiding things but she is my daughter...she knows me the best. When I first initially told her that her father and I were divorcing, she was so grown up about it. We were out shopping in NYC with friends and somehow we started to get into an argument over spending money. I was sleep deprived and stressed and to my shock I just blurted it out and starting crying. It wasn't how I planned on telling her. She walked towards me and just held me. She didn't cry. All I can remember her saying to me was Mommy I want whatever you want to make you happy again. She was 9. She just made a wise *** joke to me the other day about when I told her we were divorcing. She said you could have waited until we got to Midtown at Dylan's Candy Store (her fave) to tell me the bad news. That way I could have gotten a lot of candy out of it. lol!!!!

Well, anyway... at least your daughter sounds aware of and sensitive to the situation. That's a very good thing. Kids aren't always to sympathetic in such environments.

TNP......I think the teacher was reaching out to me as a mother to another mother. I think she was trying to help me gain some insight as she's well aware the difficulties that my daughter has had. Remember, I work at the same school my daughter attends so she is also a collegue. As it is, my daughter already feels like everyone at school has higher standards for her.... which is true. The assignment doesn't surprise me because its typical what they ask of 5th and 6th graders. They also believe that it helps with their social development where they can discuss issues and help each other find solutions or give support and/or understanding by saying they too experienced what another classmate has. <br />
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Truth be told, I don't think there's anything written on her paper that I dont' already know.

I like the choice you made. Refusing to read your daughter's assignment showed a lot of respect for her privacy.<br />
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I'm also a bit concerned by the teacher's attitude. Getting the kids to write about something difficult and then getting them to read out what they'd written. Essentially - getting them to air something that is challenging to them. Not all kids would have "flatly refused". At 11 years old, I probably wouldn't have done that. Thankfully, some of the things I could have written about aren't things I WOULD have written about, but if I'd gone for the major topics - and then been asked to read them out - I'd have had a real problem.<br />
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For this teacher to accept your daughter's need for privacy and then still undermine it by offering you the chance to read the assignment... that would bother me if she was my daughter. I'm glad you turned down her offer.

V-Tormented and a bit relieved mixed in. She's 11-yrs old....her life should be about her interests, friends and school....not about my failed marriage and constant disappointments from her father. I say relieved because now maybe she understands that even though the man was her father, he just wasn't good enough for us and deserve better. <br />
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Daddy4uUK.....We've been through a dark. volatile, painful, difficult road since she was 9 when I decided to end my marriage. It has taken this long to try to get mine and my daughter's life back in order as the separation wasn't easy with a third party involved. While my daughter has always idolized her father, her father had always been more of her overgrown playmate than someone whom she is deeply emotionally connected to. Her father sees to it that she and I have all the things we need to be comfortable. I am extremely grateful for that but sometimes what my daughter needs other than money is his time and attention. My daughter and I are fairly close but this is a situation where I felt she needed more help and guidance that I could give so she's been in a care of a therapist through this. Her pediatrician was adamant about getting therapy because she says studies have shown that kids that receive therapy has been more successful in having relationships in life than the ones who didn't when their kids divorced. For us, it's worked helped us heal the wounds together. It hasn't been fun and easy. :)

I think in a way it's positive overall. From what you've said it sounds like she has made up her mind about where she wants to be and that she has 'dealt with it' on the large part.<br />
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Your desire to respect her privacy is always a good one because as a father of girls myself I know that their privacy is something they cherish, although I accept the bond between mum's and daughters is often deeper than between a dad & daughter. Maybe creating an environment/ situation where she wants to bring up any feelings she may have about it would be good so you can see if there are any little 'niggles' that she still has about the situation. I'm a single parent and as I have girls I'm always conscious that there are always going to be things they wont want to discuss with dad so I always try to do what I suggested above as I think that if I make( ok sometimes engineer to a certain extent) an environment where they feel it was them who brought it up that it gives them the power and makes them feel more at ease about discussing their thoughts, feelings or fears.