Author Topic: Putting the deceased parent up on a pedestal?  (Read 1010 times)

Virgo

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Putting the deceased parent up on a pedestal?
« on: March 30, 2015, 07:27:47 PM »
I completely understand, and never say anything negative, but I'm not going to lie. It really hurts to hear my daughters' comments on how they think their dad would have said or done differently in certain situations. I feel that I have a pretty good idea how he would react to most situations. We rarely differed in parenting decisions.

My oldest daughter (15) is sick. She's a little whining and demanding when she's sick. She wants me to cuddle with her because she's cold. She's asking me and her sisters to get her this or that, so she doesn't have to move from the couch. I'm sorry, but I have two other daughters to take care of. I don't have the luxury of laying on the couch with her for 10 hours. She's claiming that her dad would be snuggled on the couch with her. Complete opposite! He treated us like walking germs when we were sick. :) I'll admit that while I am motherly, I do not coddle my girls. My parents were the same, "get up and move around a bit. You might feel better." Partly my personality, partly my upbringing.

This isn't the first time she has mentioned 'what dad would have done', but just an example. How do you handle those type of situations with your kids? Sometimes I just listen. Other times I will say how I think he would have reacted or what he might have said. Then sometimes I say I wish that he was hear to give his opinion/advice, but he's not so I have to make the best decisions for our family.
Jen

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

anniegirl

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Re: Putting the deceased parent up on a pedestal?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 07:50:23 PM »
I don't think you are knocking your LH off any pedestals by countering with the truth - especially when children are being manipulative.

Children naturally try to play parents off each other and that doesn't stop when one of us dies. In fact, it ups the ante a bit.

There are times when you have to be a bit less strict because you realize that grief is in play but not when they are using your late spouse against you to get their way or make you feel bad or to guilt you.

My daugther was three and a half when her Dad died. She really didn't know him but that never stopped her from using his absence to try and get her way or to guilt me.

She was about about 7, I finally sat her down and told her that it was not okay for her to do this. That it hurt my feelings and that it was wrong to hurt people's feelings in order to get your way about something. Even at six, she knew what I was talking about and it never happened again.

Your daughter is old enough to be called on her behavior and for you to be honest about how it makes you feel and why it's wrong.

On another note, I found that it's better to be honest about LH when discussing him with our daughter. He loved her and had barely any time to be her father but it does neither him nor her favors to paint him as someone he never really was. I am always age appropriate but I want her to know who he was rather than give her a polished version. He wouldn't have wanted to be seen as some unattainable goal that she needs to measure herself ( or others) against.
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