Mother Abandoned Children

Dear Susan,

My ex wife stopped visiting our two children who are now 11 (daughter) and 13 (son).  She was never very stable and let me have full custody, except for the legal custody.  At first, she came around but then stopped.  It’s been four months since she has since the children.  She hasn’t even called them.  They have tried to call her but get an answering machine message and she does not return their calls.  What do I tell them?

Marcus

Hi Marcus,

First, let me tell you how sad I am for your children’s situation.  Most of the people I encounter claim they don’t see their children enough so it’s very disconcerting to read when a parent completely neglects their children.

I don’t think you need to tell you children much in the way of their mother’s behavior.  They already know.  She’s rejected them – PERIOD.

Marcus, you can’t change their mother’s behavior.   What you CAN do is be a loving father and a soft place for them to land.  Let your childrenopen up conversation, if they want to, by being non-judgmental.  Let them know that the issue lies with their mother and has nothing to do with them.  Children are very self referential so you want to make sure they don’t internalize their mother’s very bad behavior.

 I  suggest you seek out a good therapist for them to help them through this horrible rejection.

Susan