Divorces are often very contentious and emotional times. This can make it difficult for parents who share children to co-parent, especially in the early days. It’s imperative to remember that getting off to a positive start with your co-parenting can help both you as adults and your children.
Unfortunately, not all adults take the time to think about how their comments about their ex might impact the children. Instances in which badmouthing occurs causes children to suffer the most. If you’re dealing with badmouthing from your ex, consider these points.
Avoid repaying the badmouthing
Your first reaction when your ex badmouths you might be to get angry and repay them with insults. This isn’t productive and can make things very uncomfortable for your children. Instead of doing this, remain calm and document the behavior. If you’re able to remain unphased by the remarks from your ex while your children are present, then your kids may learn the valuable life skill that they can’t let words invoke anger.
Watch for parental alienation
Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to create a divide between the children and the other parent. This is illegal and something that you must address swiftly, but it is often a complex undertaking. Discussing the matter with someone familiar with parental alienation can help you to determine your next steps.
Getting your parenting plan set quickly after you split up is important because it sets the terms for how you and your ex will handle matters related to the children. It may behoove you to include terms that forbid each parent from badmouthing the other one. Remember that the terms you set should reflect the child’s needs now. You can always modify the plan in the future if those needs change.