{3:54 minutes to read} Johnny’s parents have been divorced for a couple of years and are having huge difficulties communicating. They are presently seeing a hey, johnny, tell mom that . . by Jennifer Safianmediator to help them with the communication issue and exchange of information regarding their son’s schedule and activities.

Here are 2 different scenarios of telephone conversations between Johnny and his Dad while Johnny was spending the weekend with his Mom.

Scenario # 1.

Dad: Hello Johnny, it’s Dad, How are you ?

Johnny: Fine

Dad: Is Mommy’s friend with you this weekend?

Johnny: Yes

Dad: What have you been doing ?

Johnny:  I went water skiing with Mark

Dad: Oh really, Mark took you water skiing ? I did not know you liked to waterski.

Johnny: ….. (silence)

Dad: Did you give Mommy the envelope that I gave you with the check?

Johnny: Yes. Hey Dad, my bathing suit is too small and Mom said that I still had to wear it, because you…..

Dad: Mom said what? I don’t give her enough money so she can buy you clothes? Mom needs to get a job! And then she can buy all she wants!

Johnny: . . . .(silence)

Dad: Tell Mom that next weekend, I can’t pick you up as planned and that I want to switch for the following weekend.

Johnny: OK

Dad: Bye, Johnny. I love you.

Johnny: OK, bye.

Scenario #2.

Dad: Hello Johnny, it’s Dad, How are you ?

Johnny: Fine. Hey Dad, I went waterskiing with Mark today. And Mom and I went shopping yesterday and she got me this cool bathing suit with sharks on it!

Dad: Wow! Careful with those sharks! I am so happy you had a chance to try out that sport. You always wanted to do it.

Johnny: It was really awesome.

Dad: Great. Listen Johnny, I will discuss this with Mom but I wanted to let you know that next weekend I have a business trip, so I will not be able to pick you up on Friday. Mom and I will make plans so you and I can be together after I get back. OK with you?

Johnny: Yeah, that’s cool Dad.

Dad: OK, big boy. I can’t wait to see you and I am so glad you are having fun. Bye, Johnny. Love you.

Johnny: Bye, Dad.

 

What is the takeaway from these examples?

Even if you have difficulty communicating with your former spouse, please

  • Do not ask your child personal questions about the other parent;
  • Do not use your child as a go-between, whether for a letter, package or a spoken message;
  • Do not speak harshly of your child’s other parent to him/her.

Your child will be the first one to suffer from a parent’s aggressive words against the other, and the last thing he/she wants, is to be caught in the midst of the storm.

As adults, we need to find every possible way to protect our children. If we are unable to learn how to communicate on our own, let’s reach out for help.

What is your reaction and what are your thoughts about our 2 scenarios?

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
info@safianmediation.com
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