Perhaps you and your ex had a contentious divorce. Perhaps you are not friendly, or maybe even hostile. This is not uncommon for people who have dissolved their marriage.
Poisoning children against a parent, however, is definitely not appropriate. If your ex is lying to your children or otherwise undermining your relationship with them, there are ways you can handle it.
Parental alienation syndrome
Some parents use bad-mouthing during or after a divorce to hurt the other parent or to get their own way. Experts refer to this as parental alienation syndrome. Your ex may attempt to undermine you by:
- Disparaging you
- Questioning your judgment
- Wrongfully blaming you for things
- Telling your child lies
- Calling you bad names
What you can do about it
While you may feel that you have no control over what your ex says, there are some things you can do to help save your relationship with your children:
- Make sure your children know that you are sorry about what they heard, and encourage them to explain how this makes them feel to both you and your ex
- Do not retaliate with negative remarks or lies about your ex
- Remain calm and don’t show anger in front of the kids
- Remind your children that hurt and angry people say things that are not true
Legal avenues are available
If a soon-to-be ex-spouse won’t stop this behavior around the children, a court may order a psychological evaluation or mandatory therapy. A judge may find your ex in contempt of court and modify your child custody agreement.
You do not have to suffer through your ex poisoning your relationship with your children.