The Effect of Negative Speak on Children

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Any divorce article, as it relates to children involved in the divorce, will tell you to NEVER speak bad about the other parent in front of your children. Regardless if your ex is a scumbag, has a new fling, doesn't pay child support, etc. - these articles look at the point that your bad-mouthing of the ex reflects poorly on the child's self-esteem. If they love that parent and you think that parent is terrible - they are they terrible for loving a bad person? What if they see some of the traits you despise in your ex, in themselves? And while you may be just airing your frustrations, or even [crazily] trying to win your child to "your point of view," this bad-mouthing is truly doing more harm than good in the overall health of YOUR relationship with your child.

What some people fail to realize is that by bad-mouthing your ex, you're also impacting the relationship you have with your child. I am a product of divorce and I have seen first-hand, a parent bad-mouth another parent. And, I can tell you that 100% of the time, it negatively impacted how I thought about the bad-mouther. I saw the anger and the bitterness and it drove a wedge between us in our relationships. Do you want your child to associate you with all of that darkness? 

I think as parents, we have an option as it relates to our children. We can be bitter about the end of our marriage [and many cases we have the right], and let that bitter consume every part of our life until it totally eclipses all of the good stuff. OR we can accept that the marriage is over, and try to focus more on our relationships with our children - in being a light in their life, being a sustainable part of their life, in being their anchor. I want my children to see me and smile. I want them to know that my life doesn't revolve around what my ex is doing now or what bitterness or anger I still hold in my heart. I want them to see the love I have for them, and that it shines so much out of my eyeballs that they can't stand it. 

The next time you feel those negative thoughts bubbling out towards your lips in front of your children, try to choke them back. Think about it they'll see you and how it'll hurt them. Put those words away until you're in a place where it's okay to vent (send a text to your bff or sibling or write it down in a journal). Chances are, the anger will subside eventually anyways and leave you more rational, which is super great when dealing with the grief process of a divorce.


  1. I love this! I am divorced too, but no children. I love what you wrote and how you said you should never bad mouth your ex. I still felt that way even without kids!! Loved this post!!


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