LIVE

Divorce can be tough on kids. Here are some tips for talking about your ex when the kids are around.

By Belle: University Chancellor
October 28, 2013
Advertisement
father and son
Credit: StockDisc

When the marriage of Judith Ruskay Rabinor, Ph.D., ended, the New York City mom made the conscious decision to speak only in positive terms about her ex in front of their children, then 12 and 8. "I wanted the kids to grow up with feelings of respect and admiration for their father," says Dr. Rabinor, a psychologist who later wrote a book called Befriending Your Ex After Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids and Yes, Your Ex. "I knew that constantly putting down their father would diminish him -- and me, as well -- in their eyes."

Biting your tongue isn't always easy, especially if your ex is badmouthing you. But remember: In this war of words, kids are the real casualties. Hearing negative things about a parent puts children in a difficult position. "It's like asking them to choose sides," says Tina Tessina, Ph.D., author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things that Can Ruin Your Marriage. Taking the high road is easier when you follow these steps.

Watch what you do. A roll of the eyes, a disbelieving shake of the head, a look of disgust -- your gestures can be just as hurtful as any name-calling. (Actions speak louder than words!) Apologize if you catch yourself in a slip-up. (Those eye rolls sometimes happen before you can stop them!) You might say, "I'm sorry. That wasn't very nice of me. I know your dad loves you and has your best interests at heart."

Commit to a cool-down period. If your ex does something that upsets you, give yourself time to think things through before you react. Out of range of little ears, vent to a friend, family member, or therapist about the situation. "Let off steam to safe people so your children aren't exposed to your anger or frustration," Dr. Tessina says. Once you've cooled off, you'll be better equipped to respond with a possible solution instead of lashing out and potentially making the situation worse.

Don't use your child as a messenger. If you disagree with something your ex is doing, don't get your kids to issue directives -- such as "Mom says you should be putting us to bed earlier." "Don't make your problems with your ex your children's problems," says Dr. Tessina. E-mails and texts can make ongoing conversations with your ex easier; just remember that tone and intention often can be misconstrued with these forms of communication. It may help to speak or write to your ex as you would a business partner -- after all, you're both in the business of taking care of your children. That means being cordial and respectful.

Mind your business. Don't ask your kids to spy on or rat out the other parent (unless it's a matter of safety, like being lax about seatbelt use). If your child wants to share what's happening in the other house, that's fine. But resist asking nosy questions. "Try to respect that there are different ways to raise children," Dr. Rabinor says. "As long as your kids are safe and well cared for, the activities at your ex's home are not your concern."

Take the high road. Ignoring a badmouthing ex probably ranks as one of the hardest things you'll ever do. But if you can master it, the payoff for your family will be great. Model for your children how to respond to difficult situations with maturity and integrity. For instance, if your child reports that your ex is upset with you or has said something unkind, you might respond with: "It's not nice for Dad to say those things. This sounds like something he and I should talk about in private." You can explain that people sometimes say hurtful things that they don't necessarily mean when they're upset.

In the end, the only person you can have any control over is yourself. "Do your best to treat your ex with kindness and respect, even if he doesn't extend the same courtesy to you," Dr. Rabinor says. "At the very least, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that one of you is setting a good example for your children."

Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.

Comments (16)

Anonymous
April 12, 2021
A MIRACULOUS TESTIMONY........... I am very surprise for the miraculous experience and wonders of Dr.TONY that have been spreading on the Internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over the world to restored back their lost lovers I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back there ex lovers, i was deeply in love with my husband and he was with me but suddenly one day he broke up with me. I tried everything but nothing seemed to workout, I thought its going to be over forever. I never believed in spells but I was so desperate I thought I got nothing else to loose. I started searching for different spell casters and I finally found 'Great Dr.TONY who helped me through the process and I eventually got my husband back and we are so happy together. I am so grateful to him. If you ever need a spell caster who can get your ex back then contact him on His Email: drtonylovepellcaster@gmail.com and you can also contact his telephone His number/WhattSapp he through +2348154900380 https://drtonylovespellcaster.blogspot.com
Anonymous
April 12, 2021
A MIRACULOUS TESTIMONY........... I am very surprise for the miraculous experience and wonders of Dr.TONY that have been spreading on the Internet and worldwide, How he marvelously helped people all over the world to restored back their lost lovers I contacted him after going through so many testimonies from different people how he help to bring back there ex lovers, i was deeply in love with my husband and he was with me but suddenly one day he broke up with me. I tried everything but nothing seemed to workout, I thought its going to be over forever. I never believed in spells but I was so desperate I thought I got nothing else to loose. I started searching for different spell casters and I finally found 'Great Dr.TONY who helped me through the process and I eventually got my husband back and we are so happy together. I am so grateful to him. If you ever need a spell caster who can get your ex back then contact him on His Email: drtonylovepellcaster@gmail.com and you can also contact his telephone His number/WhattSapp he through +2348154900380 https://drtonylovespellcaster.blogspot.com
Anonymous
November 26, 2020
Hello everyone, i just want to let y'all know how i got my ex wife back with spell casted by Dr Joe. He has the natural ability to cast spell and make an old or ex lover return back to you after 24 hours of the spell, it works perfectly fine and it has no side effect, he is 100% guarantied and has never made mistakes . It took him just 3 hours to cast the spell and 48 hours later my wife that left me for 2 months called me and say she missed me, with no hesitation i would advice you all to contact Dr Joe on his email via (dr.joeblessed @ gmail. com) Phone number/Whats APP +234 (903) 4258471 Or visit his Website on drjoeblessed.com and see for yourself his works
Anonymous
November 26, 2020
Hello everyone, i just want to let y'all know how i got my ex wife back with spell casted by Dr Joe. He has the natural ability to cast spell and make an old or ex lover return back to you after 24 hours of the spell, it works perfectly fine and it has no side effect, he is 100% guarantied and has never made mistakes . It took him just 3 hours to cast the spell and 48 hours later my wife that left me for 2 months called me and say she missed me, with no hesitation i would advice you all to contact Dr Joe on his email via (dr.joeblessed @ gmail. com) Phone number/Whats APP +234 (903) 4258471 Or visit his Website on drjoeblessed.com and see for yourself his works
Anonymous
November 26, 2020
Hello everyone, i just want to let y'all know how i got my ex wife back with spell casted by Dr Joe. He has the natural ability to cast spell and make an old or ex lover return back to you after 24 hours of the spell, it works perfectly fine and it has no side effect, he is 100% guarantied and has never made mistakes . It took him just 3 hours to cast the spell and 48 hours later my wife that left me for 2 months called me and say she missed me, with no hesitation i would advice you all to contact Dr Joe on his email via (dr.joeblessed @ gmail. com) Phone number/Whats APP +234 (903) 4258471 Or visit his Website on drjoeblessed.com and see for yourself his works
Anonymous
November 26, 2020
Hello everyone, i just want to let y'all know how i got my ex wife back with spell casted by Dr Joe. He has the natural ability to cast spell and make an old or ex lover return back to you after 24 hours of the spell, it works perfectly fine and it has no side effect, he is 100% guarantied and has never made mistakes . It took him just 3 hours to cast the spell and 48 hours later my wife that left me for 2 months called me and say she missed me, with no hesitation i would advice you all to contact Dr Joe on his email via (dr.joeblessed @ gmail. com) Phone number/Whats APP +234 (903) 4258471 Or visit his Website on drjoeblessed.com and see for yourself his works
Anonymous
November 26, 2020
Hello everyone, i just want to let y'all know how i got my ex wife back with spell casted by Dr Joe. He has the natural ability to cast spell and make an old or ex lover return back to you after 24 hours of the spell, it works perfectly fine and it has no side effect, he is 100% guarantied and has never made mistakes . It took him just 3 hours to cast the spell and 48 hours later my wife that left me for 2 months called me and say she missed me, with no hesitation i would advice you all to contact Dr Joe on his email via (dr.joeblessed @ gmail. com) Phone number/Whats APP +234 (903) 4258471 Or visit his Website on drjoeblessed.com and see for yourself his works
Anonymous
July 28, 2020
I have been married for 4years and i have a break up with my husband 1months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Tunde and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back or your lover to yourself here !! his email Address. babatundesolutioncentre1@gmail.com or you can reach him on via WhatsApp mobile number or call him on +2348143581382 i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness
Anonymous
July 6, 2020
My boyfriend left me a month ago and he was leaving with another woman who is 7 years older than him,i feel like my life is completely over so one day as i was browsing searching on the internet for help I read over the internet how a spell caster have help several people to get their lovers back, i have been depress for the past one month and what i need is to get him back and live with him happily. so i decided to give it a try so i contacted the spell caster called Dr. Ogun and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell which i use to get my boyfriend back and now my life is complete and both of us are very happy with the relationship. and i am really grateful to this man for what he has done for me and my family, Thank you very much and i will continue to say my testimony over and over again. for those who need help or having same problem as me should contact him on his email address on d r .o g u n o d u g a 1 0 1 0 @ g m a i l . c o m or WHATSAPP him on +234 8080796947
Anonymous
July 6, 2020
Bisexual Love Spells Black Magick Love Spells Break-up and Separation Spells Casters and Psychics Divorce and Break Up Spells Fast Love Spells Gay Love Spells LGBT Love Spells Soulmate Love Spells Spells for Returning an Ex Transgender Love Spells Voodoo Love Spells If you need to spice your relationship with more love and romance contact Dr. Ogun WHATSAPP him on +234 8080796947 and i assure you things will turn around good for you
Anonymous
June 14, 2020
FASTEST SPELL THAT MANIFEST WITHIN 24HOURS i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Dr Abaka my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Dr Abaka have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the next day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back Dr Abaka can also help you contact via: drabakaspelltemple@gmail.com or whats app +2349063230051.
Anonymous
June 14, 2020
FASTEST SPELL THAT MANIFEST WITHIN 24HOURS i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Dr Abaka my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Dr Abaka have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the next day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back Dr Abaka can also help you contact via: drabakaspelltemple@gmail.com or whats app +2349063230051.
Anonymous
April 23, 2020
My name is Valary West.I'm from Canada, My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behaviour from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone else. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Psychic odumeje  can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and told him my problems and he told me what to do and i did it and he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband came to me and apologised for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. highly recommend Psychic odumeje, he is Powerful and really love spell caster. If you have any problem contact him and i guarantee you that he will help you. he will not disappoint you.Email:  odumejetemple@gmail.com or call / whataspp +2349012479806
Anonymous
October 20, 2019
Ever since my husband got me divorced for the past 2 years, i v'e not been my self. I was reviewing some post of how i could get back my husband then, i saw a testimony shared by Marina Choas from SWEDEN about a spell caster named Dr. tunde. I contacted Marina Chaos to confirm about how Dr. tunde helped her and she clarified everything to me of how he helped her and that gave me the courage to get in touch with Dr. tunde for help. Dr. tunde assured me that my days of sorrows will be over within 48hours after he has finished with his work. I followed his instructions he gave to me because i had the believe, faith, hope and trust in him. Verily i say to you today that i and my husband are back together and i can proudly say and testify to the world of what Dr. tunde did for me. Contact him today via E-mail:(babatundesolutioncentre1@gmail.com) OR call him or whatsapp him  +2348143581382 if you seek his help.   Also specialize in treating all kinds of illness, HERPES VIRUS, HEPATITIS B, CANCER, BRAIN DISEASE, INFERTILITY, DIABETES AND MORE
Anonymous
October 20, 2019
Ever since my husband got me divorced for the past 2 years, i v'e not been my self. I was reviewing some post of how i could get back my husband then, i saw a testimony shared by Marina Choas from SWEDEN about a spell caster named Dr. tunde. I contacted Marina Chaos to confirm about how Dr. tunde helped her and she clarified everything to me of how he helped her and that gave me the courage to get in touch with Dr. tunde for help. Dr. tunde assured me that my days of sorrows will be over within 48hours after he has finished with his work. I followed his instructions he gave to me because i had the believe, faith, hope and trust in him. Verily i say to you today that i and my husband are back together and i can proudly say and testify to the world of what Dr. tunde did for me. Contact him today via E-mail:(babatundesolutioncentre1@gmail.com) OR call him or whatsapp him  +2348143581382 if you seek his help.   Also specialize in treating all kinds of illness, HERPES VIRUS, HEPATITIS B, CANCER, BRAIN DISEASE, INFERTILITY, DIABETES AND MORE
Anonymous
October 20, 2019
Ever since my husband got me divorced for the past 2 years, i v'e not been my self. I was reviewing some post of how i could get back my husband then, i saw a testimony shared by Marina Choas from SWEDEN about a spell caster named Dr. tunde. I contacted Marina Chaos to confirm about how Dr. tunde helped her and she clarified everything to me of how he helped her and that gave me the courage to get in touch with Dr. tunde for help. Dr. tunde assured me that my days of sorrows will be over within 48hours after he has finished with his work. I followed his instructions he gave to me because i had the believe, faith, hope and trust in him. Verily i say to you today that i and my husband are back together and i can proudly say and testify to the world of what Dr. tunde did for me. Contact him today via E-mail:(babatundesolutioncentre1@gmail.com) OR call him or whatsapp him  +2348143581382 if you seek his help.   Also specialize in treating all kinds of illness, HERPES VIRUS, HEPATITIS B, CANCER, BRAIN DISEASE, INFERTILITY, DIABETES AND MORE