Putting Down Your Co-Parent in Front of the Kids Hurts You Most

Freed_Putting Down Your Co Parent in Front of Your Kids - 1It’s not easy to constantly see your ex. But if you have shared custody of your children, this is a reality you have to face. You will not only have to see them often, but also have important conversations regarding finances and parenting.

This can be difficult if you and your ex have different ideas or rules about raising your child – especially if you notice your child developing certain habits you dislike due to your ex’s parenting.

These issues can lead you to harbor a lot of anger toward your ex. Anger that may cause you to vent about them, call them names, and put down their parenting.

Expressing your anger can be healthy and necessary. But it’s important to be careful about how, when, and where you do it. Here’s one golden rule to keep in mind always:

Never talk badly about your ex in front of your kids. Never.

Some parents actually go out of their way to make these comments when their children are around, hoping they’ll “pick a side.” But this is a terrible idea.

It’s bad for your spouse, bad for your child, and can do a lot of damage to how your child views you.

That last part is what far too few people realize.

No Child Wants to See His or Her Parents Fighting

Just as you are trying to heal, your child is also trying to heal. So when you bombard your child with negative comments, it creates an uncomfortable environment for them. It doesn’t allow them to grow and move forward.

Your child may have just had a great time with your ex. Complaining about them immediately spoils that excitement. And as the person doing the spoiling, they are most likely going to turn any hurt, frustration, or disappointment they feel on you.

Moreover, you may be complaining about things that pertain mainly to your relationship with your ex, such as alimony payments, your ex’s new partner, and so on. But you’re complaining to someone who cannot fully comprehend the situation and certainly isn’t qualified to mediate.

Ask yourself this. What experience do you think your child would rather have: a fun weekend with you or an exhausting weekend of playing mediator and listening to your negative comments? Do you want your child to remember spending time with you as a fun experience or a miserable one?

While you are with your child, remember that you are first and foremost your child’s parent – not your ex’s ex. Focus your attention on how you can be the best parent you can be. Worrying about your ex, your divorce settlement, or any other highly emotional issues will only take away your ability to spend time with your child and create a loving, positive relationship.

Does this mean that you should shut down any questions your child might have about your divorce or your relationship? No. It is perfectly fine to be honest and communicate with your child when appropriate.

But allow the conversation to begin on the child’s terms. And always avoid blaming. Detail the situation as truthfully as you deem appropriate and let your child come to his or her own conclusions.

Holding back on any harsh words about your ex will not only improve your relationship with your child, it will help you to heal and move on from your divorce.

Rooting for you!

Sara Freed

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *