I am often struck (and not impressed) by the language used to refer to the children caught in the cross-fire of a divorce and custody battle (and frequently, “battle” is unfortunately the best word for it).
I cringe at phrases like “That is my weekend to have the kids”. To have them? Would you ever refer to your adult family members or your friends in that manner? “Hey, I’m having you on Friday night.” Sounds cannibalistic, at best.
Underlying language like this seems to be a belief that kids are property, things, not people.
Why are the kids almost always referred to in the passive? “I have the kids”, instead of “The children are spending time with me.”
“I will have the kids to you at such-and-such time.”
Again, it sounds like the delivery of a package or freight, not like human beings.
When the chest-pounding and power-tripping really begin, children are suddenly “my kids”, not “our kids”, as if one party was single-handedly and miraculously able to sprout children like potato buds or Chia Pets from their wondrously fertile body.
I’m sure there are many more examples than that; are there any phrases or words that get under your skin?
It most definitely rubs me the wrong way to run into ongoing and repeated disrespect to the kids’ dignity, worth, and rights.
Children are not property. They are not things. They are not belongings. They are not tokens or poker chips or tools to be manipulated or used. They are not currency or weapons or prizes.
If you need to be reminded of that, if that is not first and foremost in your mind and heart, then you truly have no business pretending to parent.