Learning To Love By Example

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Learning To Love By Example
Let your children learn their own heartbreak by their own experiences, not yours.
By Caitlin Goldberg, BounceBack Editorial Staff

 

Just about every single living person has uttered or likely proclaimed some variation of the phrase “All men suck," “All women are crazy,” or even more extreme, “I’ll never love anyone again.” While you may strongly believe these things as you’re saying them, it’s important to think about the repercussions these utterances could have on your children. When enduring the pain and anger that goes hand-in-hand with getting a divorce, it’s important to keep in mind that your children are looking to you for guidance now more than ever. You don’t want to mold them into being people who look negatively on men, women, or love in general -- even though you may be feeling negatively towards the gender that broke your heart at the moment.

 

When you make negative remarks about men or women in front of your children, you’re sending them a message of fear. You’re saying a man/woman did something that hurt you, and now you fear it! Think about it, when your child complains about going to gym class, you ask them why, and then usually uncover something happened they found to be unpleasant that day in class -- resulting in them generalizing hatred to all gym class. When you generalize hatred towards relationships, women, or men, you are telling them this type of thinking makes sense -- when it doesn’t.

 

Just like you encourage your child to try again the next day despite the bully making fun of the way he kicks the soccer ball, you have to try again too. Think of it as setting a good example for your children. You wouldn’t want your children to give up on playing a sport they love because someone told them they weren’t the best at it, so you aren’t allowed to give up when anyone tries your strength either!

 

Until you find your strength, though, realize that your attitude towards the opposite sex is close to the exact attitude your children will adopt. If they constantly hear you talking to your friends about how all men are full of it, they too will believe all men are out to get them. Let your children learn their own heartbreak by their own experiences, not yours.