Children re-write experiences with dad when they go back to mom

by Rod Smith

My stepsons (8 and 9) visit us on weekends. My husband and I find their visits very thrilling. Occasionally when they get back to their mother’s they speak negatively of their experiences with us. My husband and I have talked this through with their mother. She knows what a nice time they have here and how “normal” we make it. Why would they make it sound negative? Have other readers had similar experiences?

As the children grow up you will see many phases of how they view and interpret their world. I would not make an issue of it. The miracle I see is a step mother, dad and mother are all talking to each other about how to handle the children! Are you aware how rare this is? Congratulations.

I have seen parallel circumstances in my own son who is 8. He will go to an event and have what appears to be the best time of his life – and then “re-write” the experience once it is over. I have come to the conclusion that this is how he copes with something that he has really enjoyed, coming to an end.

3 Comments to “Children re-write experiences with dad when they go back to mom”

  1. I agree! To have all the adults focusing on the kids’ welfare is great. (…instead of worrying first about any tensions between the adults) I might speak casually to the boys while in the midst of a visit just to convince yourself they are really having a good time, but then don’t make a big deal of it if their description later seems at odds with that.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

  2. As a child of divorce, I often put a different spin on visits, depending on which parent I was with. I didn’t want to hurt mama’s feelings by telling her how much fun I had at daddy’s. It’s hard (atleast in a child’s mind) for the custodial parent to hear that a good time was had at the other parent’s house, so sugarcoating is common, I think. This is just a feeling from my personal experience, not sure if it’s the same for everyone.

  3. I am a step-parent and we have legal physical custody of the three children. When they visit their biological mother (every other weekend) and less if she is “out there,” they children tell her how they hate living here at home and how dirty our house is. I clean this house top to bottom and house hygeine is top on my list. When they talk with their mother, I assume that they are trying to get her to let them live with her. She does not want that! In two years we will be totally emmancipated from this and we (me and husband) are taking a nice cruise to celebrate!

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