3 Reasons You Should Never Put Down Your Ex-Wife to Your Children

As you know, ripping your ex-wife to the kids is universally frowned upon by counselors and divorce mediators. It’ a lose-lose situation and is one of the worst mistakes a divorced father can make.

Unfortunately, this mistake is made every day by divorced parents even if it is just a sarcastic remark or by the look on your face when referring to your ex in front of your children.  Sometimes it is completely un-intentional, but regardless, it is something you need to be very cognizant and correct it immediately.

According to Cofamilies.com, children will immediately start to feel that something is wrong with themselves and it creates anxiety, insecurity and is a huge cause of mis-trust in the future. In this Divorced Fathers Rights article, we’re going to share 3 reasons you should never put down your ex-wife to your children.

Kids Need to Respect their Parents

First of all, when you’re constantly running down their mother, your children will likely lose respect for you. They’ve heard that if you can’t say something nice about someone, you should keep your mouth shut. When they don’t see you live by that, they may think less of you. When they can respect you, they will also have a greater sense of security, feeling that their father is trustworthy and dependable.

Secondly, your kids need to respect their mother. Girls need her as a role model and boys need to learn to respect women in general. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a candid conversation with your kids about their mother, especially if she’s got glaring issues. They need the opportunity to talk about concerns and fears. But they’ll respect you a lot more and also learn understanding toward their mother if the entire thing is handled respectfully.

It Will Lead to More Conflict

Kids talk, and if you criticize your ex-wife to the children it will get back to her. More conflict will ensue between you and the ex-wife, and potentially between you and the kids. You may be mad at them for telling her what you said. On the other hand, if you’ve only spoken respectfully,  even if not in glowing terms about your ex-wife, you won’t be afraid to admit it and to dialogue with your ex about the needs and concerns expressed by the children. Note: Don’t begin the conversation with your kids about their mother’s short-comings. If they start it, handle it with maturity.

Long-Term Resentment Might Result

When parents are bad-mouthed, it can easily lead to relational conflict in years ahead, and depending on the state where you live, it could even have an impact on legal issues! If your ex-wife turns out to be a pretty decent person in the eyes of your kids, they may look back on your criticism as trying to turn them away from her. That might never be your intent, but it’s impossible to gauge how a child will feel about it down the road. Kids are smart and they will form their own opinions. If your ex-wife criticizes you and you turn out to be a good father, it won’t harm your relationship with the kids, and may even strengthen it. However, you really can’t win by being critical of your ex.

These are just the top 3 reasons you should never put down your ex-wife to the children. You can probably think of many more negative consequences that may stem from that behavior. Keep your words about your ex-wife civil and fair, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, you know what the best approach is.

Make the most of the time you have to spend during visitation and let your children feel good about the visit!