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Advice needed - explaining addition to young children(5 Posts)
Hi, can anyone help/give any advice?
Very, very long story (this is the short version) but I am divorcing my Ex because, after 10 years and two children (8&6yrs) he continues to put cocaine, alcohol and hanging out with prostitutes ahead of being there for his family. He moved out July 1st '17.
He was unable to have the children unsupervised until he provided a clean drug test. In Feb '18 I agreed to him having a urine test (only shows 5 days use) on the understanding that he had the full DNA hair strand test end of April (now) which shows 6 months of usage, being 6 months after his last big blow out on coke etc (according to him). This was all agreed by email in Jan & Feb '18.
First my children have to deal with daddy moving out / mummy and daddy getting divorced; then with not being able to see him much (because he objected to being supervised, so just didn't see them at all really); then he has the basic test in Feb and they start going to him on a Wednesday and every other weekend. It has taken them a while to settle into this new routine.
Last week I asked him to confirm what date/time his DNA drug test is booked for, and therefore when I can expect the results, and he tells me he is too busy to have the test until the end of June. (Who on earth is too busy to protect their relationship with their children and their children's emotional well-being??)
As a result of his unwillingness to have the test as agreed, within the agreed timescales, I have had to withdraw unsupervised contact with immediate effect. So, come Wednesday when my babies will be expecting to go to see Daddy, I get to break the news that they won't be going to daddy's for a little while.
So, the help I need - have any of you had to explain parental addiction to your young children? I have now been advised to tell them the truth, in simple terms that they will be able to process. But how? What words do I use? What do I say?
I can probably fudge my way through Wednesday saying daddy is busy with work but what of this coming weekend, and next Wednesday etc.
My heart is breaking at the very thought of shattering their childhood any further but I've already been the bad guy and had to deal with their anger and accusation (in October Daddy told them he didn't want this divorce and that it was Mummy's idea - helpful!!).
I have protected him for years but I will not have my own relationship with my children jeopardised by his actions.
I have done some research and found that some people use the words 'special medicines' to explain drugs.
Has anyone been there, done this? Does anyone have any advice on how to talk to such young children about addiction?
Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
What about he's not very well and he's getting himself better and isn't able to see you until he is better.
Talking about "good medicines" and "bad medicines" is often used in life story work for children around the same age as yours - so together you can think about the good medicines you have - calpol when Sam is poorly, Mummy's inhaler, Nanny's tablets etc and how these help people feel better.
And then explain that some medicines are "bad medicines" which make people poorlier, and make them behave differently, and some people find it very hard to stop taking them. Then you can talk about how sometimes daddy takes bad medicines and he is trying to get better - avoid saying things like he is trying to get better so he can see you, as children can then make a link that daddy didn't want to see me enough and didn't try very hard if it doesn't work out iyswim?
Just telling them that he is not well at the moment and needs some time to get better will be enough. Could you encourage some communication between them by then texting him from your phone so you can monitor the contact? That might help give him the incentive to get himself well and will also mean the children still hear from him. People take drugs when they don't like feeling what they feel or being who they are so by showing him compassion but having strong boundaries in place you are doing all you can. The rest is up to him.
I know this post dates back to last year but I was just wondering how you got explaining things to your children?
My little ones are 7 & 4 and their dad relapsed on heroin after 10years sober with me, he has had no contact now for 14 months and my 7 year old son asks about him every couple of months - it's heartbreaking seeing his little face asking why daddy doesn't want to visit him or why hasn't daddy come to see me, I just never seem
To be able to find the right words for them
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