I used to baby suit a five year old girl whose parents were divorced. I had never met the mother but worked for the father whose job as a night club bouncer meant he had to make arrangements for the child during the contact weekends she had with him.
This child was quite easy going and chatty. One of the days , we got into a conversation and she was telling me about how her mother’s car broke down and her father had driven to meet them where they were. He tried to sort out the ex-wife’s car but eventually took his daughter and ex-wife to where they were going.
Yes, you heard me right. These people were divorced. I did not want the moment to slip by without teaching this child the importance of what her father had done.
That is really nice of your dad to have done that, I told her , and buttressed the fact by saying Your dad is very nice.
It was her answer that taught me several lessons
Yes, she replied, “I know my dad is nice and I have asked him if I can marry him when I grow up”
Wow, ,I was shocked at her wisdom However .I explained to her that she could not marry her dad but she could find someone as nice as him when she grows up.
Imagine,, that little girl is already forming her opinions on her future based on her father’s behaviour. She is learning you can treat people right irrespective of the circumstances.
I know several divorced people who can’t even be civil with each other and would rather even use the children as weapons for manipulation and cruelty. Yet here is this man , going the extra mile for his “once love” and to think his daughter notices is humbling!
These little ones are watching .