Monday, February 6, 2012

How do I Handle Other Parent Talking about About Another Parent?

Now it's common for people to get upset with other adults and talk smack about them. It's normal for adults to occasionally get upset with another adult, however, it is not normal nor acceptable for that upset adult to lash out and bad mouth another parent to their child. Adult talk is just that, talk for adults. If you are a parent who finds it difficult to talk to the other parent, or you are so upset/angry about something that talking to them wouldn't be a good idea in the moment of upset, reach out to friends and family to talk to. Whatever you do, do not EVER reach out to your child or lash out to your child.

One thing I have learned through both common sense and when I took a co-parenting class years ago is that you never, ever, never talk negative about one parent over the other to your child. For starters, when one starts to talk badly about one parent, in hopes that this child sees the bad that the adult sees, it will only backfire. More often than not a child doesn't want to hear one parent speaking ill of the other, why? Well it's called use your brain and common sense - if someone were to talk about your parents in a negative light, how would you react? I am sure it would be upsetting, same goes for a child.

You see when one is part of a family, it is perfectly okay for them to vent about each other on their own terms, but it is not okay if an "outsider" {yes this includes a co-parent not residing in the same household} starts talking about said relative. For example, my sister and I can be absolutely rotten to each other, yelling screaming what have you, however, the one time an outside says something bad about the other sister? They best be watching out, because it's one thing to get upset with a family member directly, and it's another whole story when an outsider wants to talk negative about your loved one. It is not acceptable, and it's even less acceptable when it's a parent negatively talking about another parent to their minor child who feels they can't speak up to this adult and then feel stuck, sad, angry and bitter.

A child will grow up to see the flaws in their parents on their own time. It is not up to a parent to essentially brain wash a child into disliking their other parent, after all two people created this child and this child has a right to love both fairly, on their own terms and in their own way without the stress of outside sources and above all the other parent.

Yup, you read that right - putting down another parent to a child only brings on anger, bitterness and a sad young child. A child who is torn between loving their parents yet not sure how to handle one of their parents talking bad about the other will start to have emotional, self esteem and quite possibly communication issues. Essentially one parent talking about about the other parent can really backfire and turn the hatred card into play which is extremely dangerous in the hands of a child who has little idea on how to handle stress let alone emotional stress brought on by one of the two people who are suppose to assist this child in growing up to be a happy, healthy adult.

It is not an okay situation and I hope that if any child goes through something like this that they speak up, speak out and confide in a trusted adult so that the adult can step in and assist the child to make the situation better. Sometimes when another parent is bitter and angry all of the time, it just means they are bitter and angry with their own life decisions, occasionally they are jealous of the other parents happiness and inability to have their spirit broken, but whatever the reason behind talking negative about another parent - it is a rule of common sense and loyalty and love to your child that you do not fall into that category of being the mean, bad mouthing parent - it will only make your child's life more difficult.

The best way to handle situations like this - be the positive support system for this child, legally report any issues that come up that need to be reported to the correct authority/officials and get this child into therapy some how some way. It's the only way to help allow the relationship to be healed, adults get the help they need and allow this child to learn how to communicate and focus on the positive in life.