I know your struggle because my son would not adhear to my boundaries Cats sleep with books shirt. It was the hardest thing that I ever did when I asked him to leave. If your children are young I would suggest family counseling where you can agree to limits with another person present and what the punishment might be if rules are broken. You are going to need a village to help you with what you face. If you have friends and relatives ask them to give a hand. My sister was very willing to have my kids over for meals and plan joint vacations. She saw the problems with my son and called him on his behavior. My brother in law has also helped with providing a firm male presence. What would I do differently? I wish that I would have made more of an effort to ask moral questions at the dinner table. Ask them to think how they might react in a certain situation, ask them how a character in a book is feeling and why. I did do some of this, but not enough.
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I would also make sure to check in on each child as they were falling asleep and remind them to ask God for forgiveness for any wrong doing and to ask him/her for help in the day tomorrow. I would kiss them and remind them that I love them. I did this when they were young but it began to fall off when they were teens, but even a teenager needs to be reminded of the important things in life. I would also stick to limits on curfews and make sure that they contributed to house chores and cooking. I have reminded my son that a parent is not necessarily a person who is “fun”, it is the person who will be there through thick and thin and who will set limits to help them. If your abusive ex is moving abroad, he will have a lot less affect on your children and on your life. My advice is to stay tough and wave adios to your ex. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and help from others.