Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you've probably heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated. So sad. Another Hollywood/Political couple bites the dust. Seems like there is one every month these days. But wait, we find out now it was because he was cheating on her? Nice. AND fathered an illegitimate child that is now 14 years old?? Scandalous.
photo © 2007 gail mrs gray | more info (via: Wylio)
I feel so sorry for their two children and now this poor 14 year old whose mother was paid by Arny every week of his life to take care of him and keep her mouth shut. Why don't people stop and think about how their actions will affect their children?
It is even more sad that these high profile children are having to find out about their parents via the media because usually us common people would not be telling our children all of the details of their parent's separation. There are some things that are best left unsaid until they are older. But not the children of socialites, movie stars, politicians and 'famous' people. They get it right in their faces.
And why do people cheat in the first place? I remember asking my Family Therapy professor this very question.
You know what his answer was? "Because it takes out the element of Surprise." Strange how doing something sneaky is the motivating factor.
But again, when it comes to your children and are thinking of doing something wrong or giving into temptations such as cheating, stealing, lying, or abusing drugs or alcohol, it's important to ask yourself how this will this affect my children? Of course these actions will affect your spouse too but it is the children that are most affected. They need role models and parents to look up to.
As a mom, I think about all of my actions daily and how they will affect my child. And they are really simple things like how I greet someone or how I react when I see a bee buzzing around me. Imagine how witnessing bigger actions such as lying will affect them?
How do you explain big issues like this to your children? I'm a counselor and believe me, there is no easy answer to that one. Ideally you would hope they would not find out as children. But sometimes they do. Just make sure when you talk to them that you apologize, they understand it is not their fault, that it has nothing to do with them and convey the message that sometimes adults make mistakes. That mistakes can be learned from and hopefully they can be forgiven and given a second chance.
Also, if you are the other parent, it is important that you don't talk negatively about the offending parent as much as you can. They are still their parent no matter what they did wrong. It can also backfire and have your child side with the other parent. I've seen it happen and it's not pretty.
Have any of you had to talk to your kids about something you had to apologize for?