Creating harmony for your children when the parents can't communicate

Ali - posted on 11/09/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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After divirce, how do you help your children see that one parent is teaching them to hate the other after a divorce without making them pawns. How do you stay out of the he said she said traps and encourage positive growth for your children when the other parent is clearly sabotaging the home of the other?

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Dara - posted on 11/10/2009

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im in the same boat. My ex husband has had this girlfriend for about 3 years and I encurage communication but they do not, I dont know what the problem is and how to make him see that its about our child not about what we had...

[deleted account]

Yes of course Ella, that'd be great.

I have found the best way for them to see these things is not just in reaction to the other party, but just by watching yr behaviour in general. That way when the other party tells them something negative about you, they know it's out of character and they decide it's not true. As an example, the other party in my situation is a deceptive person in general and totally loses the plot whenever anyone challenges them in any situation, yelling, swearing (the f-bomb and c-bomb are part of the every day vocab) and becoming violent. I am a Police Officer so I dont/cant go around losing my cool- therefore the kids have made their own judgements when I am accused of such things.

Ella - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Mandie:

Yes that's what I meant when I said in my earlier post- older kids obviously not babies- have often formed their own opinions; but because they arent confident enough- given the volatility of the situation, they voice it by telling you what has been said, in order to determine by your reaction if what they believe to be the truth actually is. Remember they watch you very closely to see how you react and even if we think we're fooling them, we're not. The best thing is to let them make these determinations themselves by yr daily behaviour. That's what I've found has worked for me- they know me to be a more truthful person all round than the other party.



Thank you! They are smarter than what we think... I will always try my best to show a positive face around them. Can I add you to my circle??

[deleted account]

Yes that's what I meant when I said in my earlier post- older kids obviously not babies- have often formed their own opinions; but because they arent confident enough- given the volatility of the situation, they voice it by telling you what has been said, in order to determine by your reaction if what they believe to be the truth actually is. Remember they watch you very closely to see how you react and even if we think we're fooling them, we're not. The best thing is to let them make these determinations themselves by yr daily behaviour. That's what I've found has worked for me- they know me to be a more truthful person all round than the other party.

Ella - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Mandie:

Ella, I prob wouldn't say he doesnt know what he's talking about for 2 reasons-1. If they think he doesnt, they will interpret it as if he doesnt know what he's talking about then they dont have to behave and that may run over into your household 2. As much as you have the right to defend yourself you are in effect behaving just like him by perpetuating the cycle. I would just say "What do you think?" and let them draw their own conclusions.



Yeah, your probably right. I just said that because I didn't know what else to say. In my head a bunch of bashing replies flashed around, but the will never be spoken to my kids! I will not do that to them like their dad is. I just had a baby by another man 2 months ago. The most hurtful thing he could put into my kids heads was that I loved my baby more than them! It crushed me inside! That's mainly when I said he doesn't know what he's talking about. And asked her if she thought it was true? I explained to her that I now have 3 kids, and I love them all the same. And I promised her that no one will ever be before them, they are my life! She then said, I know mommy.

[deleted account]

Ella, I prob wouldn't say he doesnt know what he's talking about for 2 reasons-1. If they think he doesnt, they will interpret it as if he doesnt know what he's talking about then they dont have to behave and that may run over into your household 2. As much as you have the right to defend yourself you are in effect behaving just like him by perpetuating the cycle. I would just say "What do you think?" and let them draw their own conclusions.

Ella - posted on 11/09/2009

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I'm going through this right now myself. It's very frustrating!! When my kids come home from their dad's, my daughter tells me about bad things her dad says about me. I tell her that her dad doesn't know what he is talking about and then I reverse what she tells me and ask her if she thinks it's true. The answer she gives is NO. Am I doing the right thing?

[deleted account]

Ali I have been through this for 7 years now and there's no one thing you can do that will guarantee the best outcome. However, I recommend counselling as they will feel very pressured the poor kids; and dont- no matter how upset you are- do the same. They will work out which parent genuinely has their best interests at heart. That said though, dont tolerate the other party over-stepping privacy and boundaries. Always remember as well, sometimes when kids are asking/telling us about things they have been told, they have already formed their own opinion and are simply checking who is telling them the truth- always answer them calmly and truthfully using as much tact as you can muster.

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