Parenting is challenging for all of us. Whether you are married, divorced, or a single parent, raising children is going to be one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding things you do. However, divorced parents often face unique challenges that can make the process that much harder. One of those is challenges is the conflict between the parents that have parted ways, and how that can manifest in the ways they parent. Specifically, the ways they chose to discipline and enforce punishment.
Be careful in how you talk to your kids about their other parent!
It’s very important to avoid making disparaging remarks about your ex’s parenting choices. If your child is angry because you’re making them go to bed earlier than their other parent would, or forbidding them from screen time before homework is done, that’s a personal parenting choice. So when your kids complain about the freedoms they have at their other parent’s home, don’t lash out or try to justify your decisions by trash talking your ex.
It isn’t your child’s fault that their other parent has a different parenting style from you, so taking it out on them wouldn’t be fair or wise. Additionally, saying unkind things about your ex’s parenting or discipline choices will most likely upset your children, and hurt their feelings. This usually ends in arguments that only add tension and resentment to your household. So keep your opinions about your ex, and the way they discipline, to yourself.
Trash-talking your ex will hurt your children as well!
Most children love both of their parents, regardless of the flaws and faults that those parents may have. Saying unkind things about your ex, regardless of how accurate they might be, is hurtful to your children. After all, your children are the product of both of their parents, so insulting your ex is the same thing as indirectly insulting your child.
Keeping your mouth shut when you’re mad can be very hard! Finding out that your ex allowed your 12-year-old to watch R-rated movies, or allowed a sleep-over with a friend you don’t approve of can be VERY frustrating. And when the decision to be respectful is a one-way street, it can be even harder! Hearing unkind things from your children that your ex said about you can be heartbreaking. But stooping to their level won’t solve the problem, and it’ll only make it harder on your kids.
Find healthy outlets for your frustrations that don’t include your kids!
Find yourself getting furious about your ex’s parenting choices on a regular basis? Afraid you’ll explode if you keep it all inside? Find a friend, loved one, or therapist to vent your frustrations to when your ex does something that angers you. But remember, your children are already struggling with living in two households, and the fact that their family is split up. Don’t add to their struggle by making them choose sides or insulting their heritage.
In some extreme cases, one parent will consistently disparage the other parent in front of or directly to the children, with the intention of damaging the relationship between them. This is called “parental alienation” and is a form of emotional or psychological child abuse. If you believe your ex is abusing your children by intentionally and deliberately trash talking you to them, contact The Kronzek Firm immediately at . We can help you protect your children from abuse, and defend your relationship with them as well.