Kids growing up with their parents separated is hard enough. They have to figure out how to live with each parent separately. They have to deal with different rules that are set in place at each house.
When you separate I understand that it is hard not to think about all the bad things that they did or will continue to do. It is hard to separate your feelings towards the other person when they really upset you.
Whatever you did, or didn’t do, or whatever the other parent did or does not do. Should not be stated to your child. Badmouthing their mom or dad can have a huge negative effect on your child.
It really hurts them. No matter what you do, your child will continue to love you unconditionally. It hurts them more when it is someone they love and look up to, putting down the other parent.
It causes so much conflict in their heads. They have no idea what to do. It causes them to have to choose a side. Children are so loyal to their parents. They will have so much guilt and pain, that they will have no idea how to express these feelings, because they are scared to tell the other parent what happened in case that causes a fight. Which will cause them to retreat from both parents.
Just like you would not accept yourself to choose between one of your children, you should not accept your child to choose which parent to love and be loyal too.
Your child has some parts of you and some parts of your Ex. By bad mouthing each other causes your child to feel like some parts of them are wrong, some parts of them you do not like because it matches the other parent. This alone will cause them to hate how they are.
We tell our kids not to bully, to treat other people the way we want to be treated, but yet we talk poorly about the other parent. We say all these negative things about your ex which could cause your child to think that is okay or to grow up thinking that we are liars.
It is important to find a way to separate your feelings towards the other parent for the sake of your child. They want to have a positive and loving relationship with both of you. How you feel should not determine how your child feels about the other parent.
What goes around comes around.
I am sure we have all heard this saying. Whatever bad things that you say about your ex will just come right back at you. Your child will start defending the other parent and then start to resent you or they might start using the same behaviour towards the other parent thinking that it is okay or back at you.
If your opinion of your ex is true, or if it is not it doesn’t matter. You don’t want your truth to be your kids reality. It could have physiological effects on your child.
Leave the negativity out of your child’s mind and just spend time with them, they just want you both to be happy.