A week ago my son and I went to an amusement park, while waiting in line for a ride, we - sadly - overheard a loud conversation from a family behind us.
What I witness still tearing me apart inside and makes me cling to my kid and fill him with hugs and kisses every chance I get.
A mother was scolding her son for something he may have done that upset her. But what it was said was in no ways to correct that child, but to tear him apart. She was lashing on that tiny 8-year-old her years of frustration and her own daemons.
The child was being accused of ruining her life, of being a pest, condemned to a future with no love and support because of what he did that afternoon.
As I turned to see the child, I saw a small, handsome face with tears running down his face, eyes filled with hopelessness for he has no one to turn to (since the mother had told him that nobody wanted him), he was hugging himself for he was his only comfort, and he knew he was alone.
As I looked around, I saw parents witnessing the same sad spectacle, EVERYONE turned to their kids and embraced them tightly, kissed them and told them loving words.
That scene is a haunting scene, but it is a scene that we can run if we are not careful.
That mother can give all the excuses in the world. "I was stressed out at the moment", "if you only knew what he puts me through", "I was being harsh to make him tough", "I was tired". None of that matters when we chatter a life, specially a young one, specially our kids'.
You see, no matter what is going on in our lives, our kids are looking at our every move. They are looking for someone or something to follow. Whether they are 2, 8 or 16, they are looking for ground to step on.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE see your kids, listen to them; a divorce, custody battle, visitation, changing schedules are very, very, very hard for them, no matter the age. They all have something to say about the subject, even if you don't like what you are hearing, they are all looking to hear the words "it is going to be OK".
Custody battles are wearing and overwhelming, but no kid deserves to bare the weight. We are the adults, we are to share the burden with other supportive adults. We should not put a shield on our kids and pretend we live in la-la-la land, but we cannot pressure them to grow at light-speed and be OK with a confusing and difficult situation.
Our kids' hearts are fragile and strong at the same time. They LOVE you and they will listen if you tell them they are worthy or worthless, a gift or a pest, loved or unloved, and they will keep those words with them. Let's choose our words correctly and give words that build up and edify. And if for any reason we are in the worst of moods and cannot edify to save our lives, then tell them to wait a little before they talk to us because we need to calm down for a little bit; and above all, they need to hear that we LOVE them.
Listen to your kids, look for clues, pay attention to their hearts.
Recently my two year old told me something that broke my heart in trillion pieces, he gave me a glimpse of his heart about the visitation situation and it wasn't pretty. The dad and I communicated and took steps to fix the situation, and my little boy seems much better with the new situation.
God taught me humility (no humiliation - very different) to get over myself and compromise.
Our kids heart is worth everything.
Talk to your kids, love them, and let's make sure they know it and hear it. If hearts have been broken, it is never too late to mend them.
Your family deserves it.
Thank you for reading, Blessings and LOVE your kids today.