Child Feels Guilty

My child feels guity when not with X during schedule visitation. Since X has anger issues, child does not like to be with X and prefers to be with other parent. I have told child that the parent with the anger issue is old enough to take responsbile for their actions and the child has no reason to feel guilty when they don’t want to be around someone who yells, threatens and throws things. Any thoughts or suggestions on how child can deal with guilt or not feel guity at all?

I think having the child meet with a counselor is in order. This may help keep you and your emotions out of the situation.

I agree with mal. See if you can get an appointment for the child to talk to someone. The child feels bad because he/she still loves the other parent, though given the behavior issues, possibly he/she doesn’t feel safe. Being around someone who has a temper, is easily angered, loud and who reacts sometimes violently would make anyone feel bad and the child has the guilt on top of that. My father and I got into an arguement when I was 17 and he threw a peanut butter jar at the wall. Not anywhere close to me, but it still gives you a feeling of anxiety to see someone lose their temper, yell, throw things. If it’s directed at you, it’s even worse.

If the child is old enough to understand that this is a normal feeling…maybe child is old enough to tell the other parent how he/she feels too. Sometimes it may only take “you’re scaring me” out of a child to stop a behavior like that. Trying to keep your emotions out of it is a good thing but it’s unlikely that you can do it completely. If the ex wants to be difficult about it and it comes down to it, you could suggest to the ex that he/she seek anger management counseling on their own.