Dear America, Your Breakup is Affecting Your Kids.
I wanted to send this letter home because I am concerned about your kids. I know you are currently going through a breakup. It sounds like a particularly nasty split. You guys have been talking really poorly about each other. Spewing words of hate and oozing it onto your kids.
I know breakups are hard and you are having some pretty intense emotions right now, but I thought I would let you know that your kids are being affected.
As a child therapist, my week is normally spent helping kids navigate through their social life, their emotions and their kid worries. This week I had to spend too much time talking about you. I thought I should let you know that your breakup is destroying the kids.
I am hearing stories of hate. Your hate. Kids who were pure love until you filled them to the brim with your anger – your fears. I know this is a rough time for you. I get it. But your kids are suffering.
This week I listened as your kids told me their stories of woe. Woes you created as you spewed out hate over the dinner table.
Kids who were once best friends, no longer talking because they are taking sides – your sides. Kids being taunted on the playground because their beliefs are no longer respected. All sides are guilty. All beliefs are being attacked.
So I am wondering if you are going to do something about the girl who can’t go on her field trip because she celebrated a victory your kids disagreed with and both the teacher and her peers made sure she suffered for her excitement.
I am wondering if you are going to talk to the kid who told his best friend that he can no longer be friends with him because his parents told him he hates Mexicans and Muslims.
Or the second grader who asked me what “liberal” meant because that is why her friends are no longer allowed to play with her.
Are you going to go on social media and help your daughter out? She is being cyber bullied right now because she posted a sad emoji after your breakup?
I wish I was making this stuff up, but your breakup is wreaking havoc on your kids. When the dust settles and the sting of your breakup hurts less, will your kids be okay? Will their divide be repaired or are they going to carry the scars and wounds of your fight?
You have a choice. You can pull it together and wipe your tears away or you can keep spewing out your toxic ooze. Instead of hate, you can teach your kids about respect. Instead of anger, you can talk to your kids about the value of opinions. Your kids are watching. Your kids are listening. And, by the way, your kids are destroying each other.
A concerned child therapist
PS. If you know of any other parents who need to read my letter, please share this with them. Their kids will thank you.