Although, by and large, exes will have a love for their child that outweighs their irritation for each other, sometimes the latter emotion can have a stronger pull, and impact the former in a toxic, unhealthy way for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for exes who have now become co-parents to have split inharmoniously. However, this can never be used as an excuse to draw your child into this negativity. It is important (regardless of the feelings that you may have about your ex) to put your child first, which means presenting them with a positive front when you’re talking about your ex.
While you can make the commitment to approach the situation in this way yourself, you might not be able to guarantee that you’ll receive this behaviour from your ex in return. If you feel like your ex is unduly influencing the impression that your child has of you by being cruel, nasty or critical about you, then this is a situation which is bound to cause you concern.
But don’t panic, there are ways that you can deal with this situation without resorting to childish retaliation. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of top tips that you can use to nip this negativity in the bud, in a calm, effective and mature way.
Even after the legal elements of the divorce have been completed, the psychological stages to go through in a separation might not be fully behind you yet. These things, naturally, take some time to fully get over, and you or your ex may have a variety of hangups about what has happened between you. This bitterness, anger, frustration or resentment can show itself in a manner of ways, but it becomes particularly harmful if it is allowed to influence your child’s life or relationship with either parent.
Just to, briefly, go into a bit more detail about what I mean by negatively influencing your child’s opinion of you, such potential types of behaviour from your ex could include the following:
If you have seen that any of the behaviours above are being deployed by your ex, it is important that you handle the situation in the right way. This means behaving in a markedly different way to your ex.
Here are some key takeaway tips that you can use to govern your behaviour and handle the situation in the best possible way for you and your child:
If you do feel like you need to go to your ex to address the situation, avoid creating more conflict with this conversation. Don’t go into it with a defensive stance – instead, disarm them by being calm and telling them that you are sorry for how they are feeling, without responding to their aggression with the same reaction yourself.
For the sake of your child, in order to aim to put any negativity between you and your ex behind you, you could try deploying the following co-parenting tactics:
This is undeniably an incredibly challenging position for you to find yourself in, and there will be moments where you certainly feel overwhelmed by it all. Just keep doing your best to keep your children in a position where they are reassured of your love, support and reliability, no matter what your ex may be saying. Try to approach the situation in the ways listed above, and the likelihood is that you will soon see improvement in the matter.
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