Bashing your ex to your children after divorce is never a good idea. It has a really negative impact on the kids and if you take your anger to a higher level it could even ultimately lead to you losing your children.
Bashing your ex in front of the kids can take all sorts of forms. You could say something like “Isn’t that just like your father?” or “You must have picked that up from your Mom”. As Rosalind Sedacca points out in her blog “Post-Divorce Parenting: Bashing your Ex is Bad for Your Children” when your kids hear you put down their other parent they take it as an attack on them.
But what can happen when you take it a step further and try to cut that other parent out from your kids’ lives? You could lose custody all together.
In one recent court case, the mother made a number of false claims of abuse to the Illinois Department of Family Services. She intentionally excluded the Father from parent teacher conferences and doctor’s appointments. The children developed emotional problems. The court determined that the kids should live with the Father and that he should take over making the decisions for them even after Mom acknowledged that she shouldn’t have made the false abuse claims and tried to stop excluding the Dad from the children’s lives.
No matter how angry you feel towards your ex, don’t bash him or her in front of the children. Always try to be positive. Find a friend or therapist to unload on about the other parent instead of the children. No matter how angry you are at your ex, make an effort to include him or her in the kids’ lives.