My son came home from football practice really upset that one of the other boys was telling everyone that me and his dad were not living together anymore. I think this is my fault, I told the child''s mum as the two boys had a bit of a falling out at school today. Part of me is cross (and I''ve told the mum to speak to her son again and say he shouldn''t be doing this). I can''t help thinking that the sooner everyone knows the better. But I realise too late that thats probably whats best for me, not necessarily for my boy. He said to me tonight that he didn''t want everyone knowing and that he had told his friends and they were the only ones who needed to know. I am worried about him, his behaviour has been a bit up and down which is so not like him so I thought I was doing the right thing. But he knew better and he was right. I''ve embarrassed him.
Checking his homework tonight one of his spelling words was ''separate''...his sentence was ''Some children are separate from their parents.'' Breaks my heart.
Meanwhile daddy hasn''t rung them since Sunday. Suprisingly they haven''t asked to call him and I am not going to suggest it. I haven''t had any contact with him since then either which has been good for me but maybe I should tell him to call them?
It''s hard for your son, as he needs time himselfto come to terms with the fact that you and his dad are not living together any more. It may be that he feels embarrassed so it may help him if you are able to reassure him both that the separation is not his fault (a surprising number of childnre think that sepaation is linked to things they''ve done, or not done) and that it is nothing for him to be ashamed or embarrassed about. If you know of other childnre in his class / team whose parents are separated it might help to remind him of this, so he dos not feel so isolated.
Regading contact with their dad - why notsugegst that the childnre call him? This sends a powerful message to your childnre that even though you and their dad areseparated, you support their relationship with their dad. it tells them that you are not asking them to pick sides, and that you won''t be hurt or upset or feel betrayed if they want to see or speak to their dad.
by all means suggest to your e that he call the children, too, but do consider that they may not have asked because they are worried that doing so will upset you, or that you won''t want them to speak to him.
Have you spoken to your son''s teacher, so s/he knows what has happened and that it upsets your on for people/other childnre to comment about it? That way, his teacher can be aware of the situation and can support him if need be if either he gets upset, or if other childnre aer making comments and upsetting him.
Have you been ableto sit down with your son to see why he doesn''t want people to know? If it is becuase he hopes you and his dad will get back together it may ber helpful if you are ableto explain to him that that isn''t going to happen, but go on to reassure him that you both love him and that he will still go on seeing both of you.
Yr son is unlikely to be in the minority at school but perhaps he has never needed to know about this before. Its very hard to keep this sort of information confidential as it has a way of hitting the grapevine. It isnt always because people just want to gossip sometimes they feel pretty insecure about their own arrangements and it has an impact which they want to talk about. Its not nice though when other children bring it up hurtfully - but children arent necessarily equipped to know how to delicately handle this sort of situation.
My daughter went on a residential school trip recently and she was telling me one boy cried the whole time - turns out his parents were separating and they decided one would leave the house whilst he was away. He had obviously been told. I wont go into the whys and wherefores of that plan! My daughter said she felt so sorry for him and I asked her if she tried to talk to him and explain her situation - she said she hadnt and I could tell as much as she has accepted her parents divorce its still not something she feels totally comfortable in offering a support to others. She is one of many in her class in that position though.
Yr son needs as much normality as possible with the opportunity to talk to you whenever he needs it. School and other activities can be a great escape for children from the anxiety they feel about whats happening so sometimes it is a good idea to let them keep things as they want them in those settings. Whether dad rings or not is up to him but he does need to know whats happening so he can be sensitive to his son.