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Old 03-10-2020, 06:49 PM
 
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We all go through tough times in our life, but how do you stay positive for the family and children?

When I say traumatic downturns, I mean bad things that make your life spiral downwards into depression. Losing a job, losing an immediate family member, filing for bankruptcy, finding out you have cancer, getting really injured, etc etc. Your children, esp the young ones, are so happy and positive and have no idea.

For example, I could be struggling to make rent/mortgage this month. My toddler is so positive and happy and fun he has no idea what's going through my head but I'm dying inside. Toddler just wants to run around the park and play with their toys. How do you stay positive?
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:42 PM
 
2,985 posts, read 4,433,230 times
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I thought I knew the answer to this. I became a single mom when my kids were pre-teens. I pretended everything was o.k. because I didn't want my kids to worry.

In retrospect, I think I should have shown some of my angst. My kids grew up thinking mom was unfazed by anything which was far from the truth.

I don't think a toddler needs to know that your world is falling apart but older kids should be given a hint of the difficulty of life.

When I look back on my life and think about all the things that I worried about - most never happened. Everyone has difficulties in their life but you will survive and be stronger for it. Enjoy your child no matter what is going on in your life. Things will get better!
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:41 AM
 
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I don't think staying positive is the way to go when something traumatic is occurring. Loved ones should share their lives, both good and bad. That is how one has relationships. Age appropriate of course.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:22 AM
 
Location: North Texas
1,162 posts, read 301,913 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown00 View Post
We all go through tough times in our life, but how do you stay positive for the family and children?

When I say traumatic downturns, I mean bad things that make your life spiral downwards into depression. Losing a job, losing an immediate family member, filing for bankruptcy, finding out you have cancer, getting really injured, etc etc. Your children, esp the young ones, are so happy and positive and have no idea.

For example, I could be struggling to make rent/mortgage this month. My toddler is so positive and happy and fun he has no idea what's going through my head but I'm dying inside. Toddler just wants to run around the park and play with their toys. How do you stay positive?
That's not your child's problem. Their only job is to be a child. Innocent, they don't need to know any of your issues. So what's stopping you from getting your rent straightened out? You're the adult. Don't put your faults on them.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:40 PM
 
36 posts, read 13,946 times
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Good question. I think for my kids I would ask myself how much can I reveal and it be healthy for them. It’s ok for kids to learn that things are hard I think. My daughter may ask why I’m sad or angry. I guess I would reply that sometimes things are hard and/or things make me sad but not to worry we all get sad sometimes, what matters is that we have each other and are a family. I just try to turn it into a lesson is what I’m saying. You may be surprised that children are very smart even emotionally. They will understand and maybe even try to cheer you up. I just never put the weight on them and reassure them that it will be ok and daddy is working through the issue. I think that is the healthiest way to put it because I don’t want her to worry
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:55 PM
 
6,525 posts, read 2,984,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilLisa83 View Post
That's not your child's problem. Their only job is to be a child. Innocent, they don't need to know any of your issues. So what's stopping you from getting your rent straightened out? You're the adult. Don't put your faults on them.
This. This. And more this.


Amennnnnnnnnnnn!


Its your job as a parent.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:52 AM
Status: "The ministers cat is an exhausted cat" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,057 posts, read 362,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCNYC View Post
This. This. And more this.


Amennnnnnnnnnnn!


Its your job as a parent.
I dont think it is your job to keep your children ignorant of the world. I think as a parent your job is to turn your children into happy, independent, confident adults. And one of the ways you do that is by teaching them about the world and how the world works in age appropriate ways. We as parents do not always have to be perfect and put on a show. Life is real.

The only appropriate way to address this with a young child is to go about your life, if youre having a moment tell your child that youre sad and that its ok to be sad sometimes and that you love him/her. Comfort them and in comforting them you comfort yourself. You dont have to unburden yourself on your child but you can use them as a source of strength. Just holding my 5 year old in my arms makes me feel as though i can get through it. It will be ok.

In the meantime sort out your stuff. Get a second job. Sell things. Do whatever it takes to show your children that you are willing to do what it takes to make a life for yourselves. And that you have it under control. They can learn from your choices without feeling burdened by them. Its a fine line
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:03 AM
 
9,506 posts, read 3,568,359 times
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When I was in 5th grade, my dad got deathly sick. He'd been dealing with ulcer issues previous to that, but like I said, it took a nearly deadly turn for the worse, when I was in 5th grade.


Now...I have 4 siblings younger than me. So when I was 10, my brother was 9, my sister was 8, my other sister was 7, and my youngest brother was 5.


There was a period of about a week, where all us kids were farmed out to neighbors and friends, so that my mom could concentrate on being at the hospital with my dad.


Now...when your mom farms out all the kids, you can't help but know that things are serious, and that my dad was very sick. I knew that. But I wasn't freaked out. I wasn't freaked out because my mom wasn't acting freaked out. At least...not in front of her children. Who knows, she might've freaked out to her friends...but not us. To me, THAT'S the ticket. We knew our dad was sick. I knew he was VERY sick (but even knowing that, I didn't really grasp what being REALLY sick entailed.)


But the grownups in my life were handling it. We were being taken care of. We had no "What will happen to us" worries. Now like I said...my mom might've been wondering ALL those things, but she kept those kind of worries away from US.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:44 AM
Status: "The ministers cat is an exhausted cat" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: NJ
1,057 posts, read 362,907 times
Reputation: 3602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
When I was in 5th grade, my dad got deathly sick. He'd been dealing with ulcer issues previous to that, but like I said, it took a nearly deadly turn for the worse, when I was in 5th grade.


Now...I have 4 siblings younger than me. So when I was 10, my brother was 9, my sister was 8, my other sister was 7, and my youngest brother was 5.


There was a period of about a week, where all us kids were farmed out to neighbors and friends, so that my mom could concentrate on being at the hospital with my dad.


Now...when your mom farms out all the kids, you can't help but know that things are serious, and that my dad was very sick. I knew that. But I wasn't freaked out. I wasn't freaked out because my mom wasn't acting freaked out. At least...not in front of her children. Who knows, she might've freaked out to her friends...but not us. To me, THAT'S the ticket. We knew our dad was sick. I knew he was VERY sick (but even knowing that, I didn't really grasp what being REALLY sick entailed.)


But the grownups in my life were handling it. We were being taken care of. We had no "What will happen to us" worries. Now like I said...my mom might've been wondering ALL those things, but she kept those kind of worries away from US.
My mom was diagnosed with cancer while I was visiting my father 350 miles away, I was 13. everyone thought the best course of action would be not to tell me until they had everything sorted and knew what was going to happen. When I left in June, my mom kissed me goodbye and told me she loved me. 2 months later when I came home she was in a psych ward with memory loss and didnt know who i was. Protecting me from what was happening cost me the last few weeks of my mother. Cost me saying goodbye while she still knew it was me.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
26,273 posts, read 16,930,698 times
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I think modeling mature behavior is good parenting. When the family is experiencing bad luck or adversity, parents need to model optimism, and the ability to plan. Invite kids to participate in keeping the family afloat. You do this by being a good example of this yourself, and by encouraging the kids when they get down, you also provide whatever treat or break in routine you can.

I don’t think that always putting on a happy face is healthy for parents or kids. But you you should not be sharing scary details either. Wearing a happy mask is exhausting and not emotionally healthy.

Very young children should be more sheltered than older kids.

You can’t expect kids to always understand. They should be allowed to express their unhappiness without severe judgment, IMO. But overall, the idea is that family works together to weather whatever it is that threatens it.

If this difficulty is regarding a pending death, they need to be emotionally prepared for it.

Learning to weather bad things is empowering.
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