Using Children as Weapons Harmoniser Style 1

Using Children as Weapons in Family Disputes

Harmoniser Style  Copyright Material  Written by Christina McMahon

When we examine the conflicts and intense emotions of people experencing divorce or separation it is often the escalation and intensity of ‘bad’ behaviour over children that leave many people shaking their heads in disbelief. When this continues for many years we are left with a very damaging situation to all involved; especially when ex-partners can’t move out of entrenched conflict; even when all the hard court battles are supposedly over. It is always easier to see what is going on when you view it from the side lines and when you are not emotionally involved.

How can the people involved stop what is happening?

How do we know we are not the problem or a large part of the problem?

Have you reached a place of the ‘compassionate heart’ or is your ego still running your emotions and behaviours. Are you displaying to your children exceptionally ‘bad’ or irrational behaviour; do you play games of retaliation, revenge, or are you in power struggles, do you want control or want to be the centre of attention.

Are you communicating in a constructive manner to your children?

Do you try to protect your children from out of control emotions; or do you use your intense emotions to manipulate the child as a weapon for revenge, power or control; or are you simply oblivious to the needs of your children because you are so caught up in your ‘emotional history’, that you have put blinkers on to the damage you are psychologically doing to your child.

There are four main personality patterns people may experience when their unresolved ego issues are stimulated through crisis. You are probably a combination of different patterns; with different intensitie, at different stages of the grief process.When we are foccussed on the negative or unresolved we could feel like doing the following. Take revenge  or retaliate; stay in a power struggle; act out control issues; engage in attention seeking behaviours.

So when parents use children as weapons in their continual conflict with and ex-partner they will revert to behaviours that can be identified from these personality needs and fears.

Why do they do this? They do it because they do not have the personal knowledge or skills to manage the conflict situation in a constructive manner and at the same time at a very deep psychological level are hurt, pained, angry, and fearful.

So basically unresolved ego/ personality issues are being triggered and they are linked to intense emotions.

So how do parents use their own children as weapons?

Behavioural patterns and intense emotions responses or reactions are complex; they can be understood and defused through counselling. You can learn to communicate in a manner that will assist your children live a happy life and not grow up with too many unresolved childhood issues!

Lets Identify Personality 1 of the 4 Typical Personality Styles

These are some of the patterns triggered in parents when they use children as weapons.

We are referring to unresolved issues of these styles not to people who operate out of the positive of the style.

When you first met they are usually loving, quiet, nurturing, supportive, and giving, the perfect mother or father image.
What they can do in crisis?
Passive Aggressive – one moment nice and charming and the next attacking. Often they can be seen as the victim to the intimidating partner.
They can choose revenge/retaliation but will not admit to themselves that this is what they are doing.

How do they use children as weapons?
Because these people are natural nurturers when not in crisis they generally will have very close or co-dependant relationships with their children – they would have done a lot of nurturing of their children and will often see their children as theirs. The children often feel an incredible loyalty to these patents. If it is the mother, a boy may feel they have to protect this person because the child will feel that this parent is more sensitive then the other parent; a girl may feel they need to look after the father. The parent may cry, be remorseful in front of the child; tell the child things about the other parent; explain why they are really trying to protect the child. The close loving nurturing of this parent generally forms close attachments with the child and this loyalty will help in the games being played. The child becomes a weapon because they are trying to make everything OK for this parent and some times they are very subtly convinced by this parent that the only way to do this is to be loyal to them, and not see the other parent or look after the parent. Often these children will grow up feeling it is their responsibility to look after this parent because they are not capable of looking after themselves. Add illness (depression; mental disorders; high blood pressure) to this and intensify the problem for the child.

Most of this happens without conscious awareness this is what is happening.

So how does a ‘balanced’ parent help to break the pattern?
Start to come from compassionate heart. (Impossible if your own unresolved issues are in the way)
Make sure you get professional help to move through your emotional issues.
Meet the needs of the ex-partner where you can and it is reasonable – their needs are security and belonging. How can you help this to be achieved for the sake of your child?
Take everything slowly; as they adjust very slowly to change.
If you made the choice to finish the relationship realise it will take them a long time to really accept it is finished. They may try to hang on in any way they can – like through the children.
Don’t react to the ex-partners games; observe, stay calm, know your own rights and state them calmly.
Speak to them in a friendly manner; the harsher you are the more likely they will shift to revenge. They have more difficulty being vengeful to people who are nice as it is how they see themselves.
Make your home safe and enjoyable for the child. Build a loving relationship with your child where they can be a child and have fun.
Teach your child values in a loving and supportive manner – let them start to work it out for themselves.
Make sure your child does not feel they have to look after you.
Don’t judge or criticise the ex-parent to the child.
Gently state your concern for the child’s wellbeing, at the bottom line they are nurturers.
Next style is Personality Style Adventurer

(Training manual available: The Ego Self )

This entry was posted in Children, Divorce & Separation, Parenting, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

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