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What should I do if my ex is badmouthing me to the kids?

Not all marriages end amicably. Many of them end with one or both adults feeling a lot of animosity due to the situations that led up to divorce. However, parents usually end up sharing custody after a divorce. If this occurs and there are children involved, both parents need to remember that the child's happiness has to come first.

One thing that no child should have to deal with is having a parent or anyone else close to them speak badly about the other parent. This puts the child in a precarious position, because they are stuck in the middle of the drama. Of course, you can't control what your ex does or says around the children.

How should a parent handle an ex badmouthing them?

Try not to get so upset that you can't control your actions. Instead, take a step back and come up with a plan. The goal here should be getting the other parent to stop so that the behavior doesn't have a negative impact on the children.

If the situation between you and your ex is contentious, speaking to him or her might not do the job. Consider using another form of communication to ask them to stop doing this in front of the children. An email or text might suffice. Be sure that you aren't returning the badmouthing. Instead, remain neutral and simply address the issue.

What if it is someone else doing the badmouthing?

If the person doing this is your ex's family member or friend, speaking to your ex might be beneficial. Choose your words carefully. You don't want it to seem like you are trying to pick a fight or like you are attacking the other person. Keep your statements factual and focused on how this can affect the kids.

Ending a marriage is difficult, but divorce doesn't have to create stress for your children. Focusing on their needs can help you do the right thing.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "3 Healthier Ways to Respond to Badmouthing," accessed May 04, 2018

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