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When the Other Parent Bad-Mouths You to Your Kids

When the Other Parent Bad-Mouths You to Your Kids

In many divorce cases, one parent may bad-mouth the other, which can make the proceedings difficult for the other parent. While bad-mouthing doesn’t always impact a divorce case, it can become serious if negative talk persists and the children are involved.

When it’s frequent and open enough, bad-mouthing can affect children in a number of ways. It can result in a damaged relationship between the bad-mouthed or bad-mouthing parent and the children, and it can serve as a bad influence that may impact a child’s behavior toward others. Negative talk may also cause children to direct any insults thrown at another parent toward themselves, negatively affecting their self-image.

If a co-parent is actively bad-mouthing the other parent to kids and the disparaged parent wishes to mitigate the potential damage it could cause, there are some ways he or she can respond to improve the situation.

Remaining Focused on Being a Good Role Model

Another parent’s bad-mouthing can be hurtful. The bad-mouthed parent needs to do what he or she can to focus on what actually matters, acknowledging the children’s best interests, during the divorce process.

If parents show their children that they care and wish to maintain a healthy relationship with everyone involved, this may help offset any negative comments the other parent may make. If a child discusses any bad-mouthing that took place behind a parent’s back, the parent should try to remain objective and avoid exhibiting the same behavior.

The way the bad-mouthed parent responds to insults or other negative comments is likely to go noticed by children, which can influence them in a positive way. It not only may help improve the disparaged parent’s image in the mind of the children, but also teach children how to approach similar situations responsibly.

Doing What Is Appropriate to End the Bad-Mouthing

If a parent hears that the other parent or another individual is bad-mouthing him or her, he or she may want to put an end to it as soon as possible. In some cases, it’s best to confront the person directly, but avoid involving the children as much as possible to prevent them from being too heavily involved.

If needed throughout a divorce, a mediator may help conduct conversations around bad-mouthing if the parents aren’t communicating directly.

Taking these steps can help put an end to bad-mouthing and keep the children’s best interests in mind.

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