You ex is an idiot and everyone deserves to know it; even your kids.
They have wrecked your life and why shouldn’t the kids know the truth about their parent?
You are experiencing a lot of emotions right now and research shows that the part of the brain you are operating from is the most primitive, which does not lend itself to sound decision making. Think fight or flight. That’s what I’m talking about here.
“Your Dad wanted an abortion.”
“Your Mother is out with another one of her boyfriends.”
“Dad never wanted kids.”
“Your mom is taking money from you in this divorce.”
These are common things that parents say to their kids, not realizing the damage they are doing.
For better or worse your child is part of both their mother and father. When you speak badly about the other parent you are bashing a part of your child. By doing this they feel like they are bad, and emotional chaos ensues.
I know, you feel like you are just being truthful.
You child just can’t handle adult information especially in the midst of divorce.
Only share what you absolutely have to, share them in a healthy way.
Many times divorce turns out to be full of conflict and parents will display bad behavior in front of the kiddos. It is okay to recognize the feelings by saying things like:
“That was really difficult.” “It’s okay to be angry, sad, etc.”
“This is a confusing time.” “It will get better.”
By focusing on feelings you focus on what’s really important; your kid does not want to hear that their parent is a %$^#!.
The focus on your child’s feelings and the emotional reality of the situation will help them process the divorce more easily. Encourage them to verbalize their own feelings as well, even if that means negative feelings are directed towards you. Everyone gets mad at people they love sometimes but feelings are fluid and it’s not forever.
Remember that after the divorce is said and done you will have to co-parent with the other adult and if that’s not the case your child will have to have some version of a relationship with them.
Give the gift of not being stuck in the middle to your child.
Most often parents will need some help doing this from an experienced therapist who works with divorce. Check out Psychology Today or Good Therapy to find someone who can help out.