Sometimes the words that leave my children's lips feel like a knife in my heart. This happened recently when I overheard my younger son, Zane, telling his brother that he likes Daddy more than me.
I felt like I was punched in the gut! It's hard to NOT take that personally and I couldn't stop the tears that formed in my eyes. I knew that Zane didn't really mean it, I know that he loves me and his father equally. Things might shift when he's a teenager but for right now I knew his words had nothing to do with loving and everything to do with challenges of living through a divorce.
Instead of addressing it right at that moment I chose to take a few minutes for myself, to gather my own emotions and then sit Zane down privately to talk to him about it.
"I heard what you said this morning about liking daddy more than me and it really hurts my feelings when you say that."
"It's not nice to compare two people that you love a lot. If you were at daddy's house and said that you like me more him, his feelings would be hurt."
"How would you feel if I said I like Logan more than you because he tells better jokes?"
"I wouldn't like it."
"I know that you are excited to see Daddy tonight and that you miss him at the end of the week and that's totally okay. And it's okay to just say that...I miss daddy."
"I miss YOU when it's daddy's week!"
"I know. I love you, let's be more aware of our words, Okay?"