I Want to Smack These People

Lightning on the Columbia River

Article by Wendy McCance

The world is changing.  Divorce is as common as marriage.  Remarrying after divorce is almost expected it’s so common.  Well, that’s all fine and good, but a lot of the time kids are involved and their feelings should count.  I am all for remarriage and step-parents, but only when the person coming into the fold is respectful of a child’s past and only wants to help to nurture their future.  I am ok with a parent deciding to remarry when they take great care to be considerate to their child’s feelings.  They should take care to make sure the child’s history with their other parent stays relevant and important to the child.

Recently I have heard of some devastating stories of adults treating their children so poorly in the face of divorce and remarriage that it makes my heart ache for the child involved.  There is a child I have come to know whose mother died and the father remarried.  A few months into the new marriage the child went to visit some family members.  When she came back, the step-mom had “surprised” her by painting her room, getting new bedding and tossing out old mementos.

The child was devastated.  The room had been previously painted by her mom before she had died.  The bedding and the mementoes were the only other traces of the child’s connection to her mother that she still had.  The step-mom had known about the specialness of the child’s room but wanted to erase the signs of the mom who had once been living in that home.

Another step-mom I know decided to put up Facebook accounts for children who were too young to have their own accounts.  On the new account, she listed herself as the “mother” and then filled in the rest of the family with the appropriate titles.  The mother of the child who is in a joint custody situation with the father was not mentioned and from all appearances appeared not to exist.  For the child, it was extremely uncomfortable to have a Facebook account that they didn’t have control over with a different person assuming the role of the parent.  There was no respect for the child and the child’s feelings towards their mother (how does the kid even explain the lack of the mom mentioned when friends see the page?)  In both of these situations, the father’s were basically oblivious to the emotional scarring that would take place from the actions of people trying to erase past events and take control of a title not reserved for them.

Why is it that there is such a lack of consideration for the child’s feelings.  What ever happened to just being a supportive, loving individual who cared for a child and wanted to show support for everything they have gone through in their life instead of just what they were going through now?  Why do some people get so hung up on a title or competitive to stand out and be noticed?

There should be no competitiveness for the lead position of the new parent especially when the other parent is still an active important part of the child’s life.  There should be no trying to erase a child’s good memories of the person who was or still is close to them.  How devastating for the child and how selfish of the new person coming into the family.  Really, what good comes from trying to deny a past history?  Why must there be a pushing and shoving match to try to come out on top and be noticed the most?

I just truly don’t get it.  I have seen these type of people feed off of recognition but not give the poor kid the time of day.  I have seen the father side with the step-mom and gingerly help them through the process of feeling fully in charge as a parent while they run over the kids feelings and give them the you better just get used to it attitude.  Honestly, the whole thing just breaks my heart.  I feel like I need to take a stand for these poor kids and smack some sense into these adults that are more concerned with their own selfish feelings than that of the child who depends on them as they grow up.  To these adults I say, be the parent you wished you had.  Grow up and take the responsibility of having children in your life seriously.  None of this is about you and never will be.  It’s all about the child and helping them to develop into a loving, caring, responsible adult.  Get over yourself!

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

15 thoughts on “I Want to Smack These People

  1. I am going through a divorce due to domestic violence and am shocked at how Family Court views children. Even at 12 my daughter has no voice, no rights whatsoever. She is a wonderful child, but the assumption is that all children are manipulative or don’t know their own mind. They are treated like criminals. It is awful.

    • Hi Christine, I am so sorry. I have been there and honestly still am. I divorced for the same reason. I have 3 children and although the kids want to live with me, they have no voice. My divorce was 9 years ago and my oldest is finally old enough and left her dad’s house. I don’t know if this will help or not, but although my pain has been great in relation to my worries over the kids, the kids have excelled in their life. They appreciate the smallest things, are extremely kind to others in bad situations and have become strong and confident individuals. Their attitude is that they can accomplish anything. The whole experience has also made me a much better mom than what I was when living with my ex-husband. I wish you all the best.

  2. And what does this kind of selfishness teach children? That their feelings don’t matter to anyone. That they have no personal space. They have no identity. They learn addictive coping skills. They grow up and marry a man or woman who has kids and they take all of that pent up unmet need and shove it in everyone’s faces. They bully their way into the children’s lives because kids are the most vulnerable. And then those poor kids grow up and become addicts in one form or another and then get married and have kids and the cycle continues… Unless people wise up and figure out a way to cope that won’t harm fellow human beings.

    Great post! I’d like to smack them too.

  3. Sadly Wendy, this doesn’t only happen to “young” children. My mother died after a long illness in 2006 and my 2 sisters were still living at home with my stepfather. Within a month of mom’s passing, another woman had moved in to their home and proceded to “push” my sisters out by starting fights with them, taking down pictures of my mom and removing baby momentos from us kids…then she started selling mom’s collectables at auction and using the money to shop for herself! None of us could talk sense to my stepfather because this was the new woman in his life and she would “be there for him” when we were all gone. It’s sad, but now my children have very few momentos of their gram and I have none of my things from my childhood (that a mom keeps to give to us someday) because that evil witch got rid of it all when she “cleaned house”. I have no clue about her reasoning as they are not wealthy people…it’s just a sad, ending to a sad story.

    I have helped my boys to make shadow boxes for Gram and their Uncle Jesse (also, cleaned up and forgotten by the witch) and we talk about them openly and happily so my kids learn that we can miss people and remember them without tears and sadness all the time.

    • Hi Tara, I’m so sorry to hear this. It just breaks my heart to hear about the selfishness of some people. You are right, it isn’t just little ones but the adult children as well. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. I don’t get it either children matter they have feelings and thoughts and should be considered but so many parents don’t they thing of themselve before their child, their happiness over their childs happiness and it really pisses me off. I remember when my sister divorce everyone was surprised that she allowed her son to live with his father since it was what he wanted to do even though it ment spilting up the twins as his sister wanted to stay with their mum…………..

  5. well said. I don’t think you should marry someone with children if you cant handle it. Trying to erase the other parent is Not handling it. That is a true sign of insecurity. If you really love the father, or mother you will just have get it through your head that there are three adults in this child’s life.

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more. Being a kid is hard enough in our contemporary times. Why make it more complicated for them. Set the example not a challenge. :)

  7. In fact, Wendy, what people forget is that they get divorced wives or husbands, but not from children! Transfer all your marital dissatisfaction to the children, which should not occur. I understand your indignation. I agree with you

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