Parents who are divorcing should help their children to make it through the changes that are coming. This is much easier when the parents can cooperate with each other. When one parent insists on bad-mouthing the other parent or saying things to make the situation more difficult, the children are the ones who suffer.
Trying to protect the children from that type of behavior is important. There are several things that you can do to make the situation better for the children. Some of these will require the assistance of your ex but others are things you can do yourself.
Prepare the children
One of the most important things that you can do is to let the children know that you’re there for them. Give them the opportunity to talk to you about how they feel and what they’re dealing with. Try to do this without judgment so they don’t fear what you’ll say.
Help manage their reactions
It’s difficult for children to avoid engaging with their parents but teaching them ways to avoid taking things like that to heart can help them to feel better adjusted. Remind them that people sometimes say things when they’re upset, sad, or even lonely.
Parents have to consider how each decision they make will impact the children. Having the terms of the parenting plan spelled out completely can make the situation a bit easier. If you’re worried about your ex sending mixed signals to the children, you should have terms related to bad-mouthing put into the parenting plan. Working out the terms of the plan may be a little less stressful if you have someone who’s familiar with these situations on your side.