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Tell Your Kids The Truth About Your Ex But Drop Off The Blame

If we remain wounded as a result of our divorce, our emotions can spill over onto our children and not have a good effect on them. One of the areas where our hurts can most easily affect our children, is the way we speak about their other parent, our ex. Blame should not enter the picture. Please remember that this ex is the one you yourself choose to love and care for, with all of their faults and strengths, through sickness and health as long as you both were alive. And then you got to see in detail what that involved.

You created children inside that union. Later, because of circumstances, you changed your decision and you decided for divorcing. It is not your children's fault that their other parent has thus and such failings. It is not your children's fault that you have thus and such failings. It's not wise to deny them either. All children are capable of hearing the truth; for example, if Dad is spending too much of the bill money on beer or if Mom is with yet another man.

It can be said factually, without blame, and your kids won't have emotional bruises just because you do. To deceive your children will only cause them pain and stunt their growth. When their mother spends the early years of a divorce talking down their dad, they would naturally begin to come to his defense.

Ultimately, they would still come to the same conclusion; it just would have taken longer and caused more pain. Alternatively, if the mother covered up his faults and made something more of him than he was, she would also have been deceiving her children and that would stop their growth into maturity. All children, whether coming through a divorce or not, ultimately come to realize that their parents are just human beings. It's often the situation that parents, whether they are getting a divorce or not, just don't set the best role model examples and often model how NOT to be. As your children grow older, they will see more and more how their father lives his life and their mother lives her life, and they will naturally gravitate more and more toward the most comfortable style of living - the one where truth lives.

The Reverend Martin Luther King had it right "The truth will set you free." Stop and think about this example. When you are raising children, you have a lot of choices to make about a lot of things: you could be upset with your ex; you could call him on the phone and yell and him; and you could talk badly about him in front of your children.

Would it change him? We all know it wouldn't change him one bit. Fortunately for you, you understands that, so you can choose not to waste your energy trying to change what you cannot change. You're not a martyr about it and you're not looking for credit. You just simply keep marching, one step at a time, towards your goal: raising healthy young adults. I have a good relationship with my two daughters, but I have also encouraged them to have a good relationship with their mom.

I don't candy coat it. I don't cover up her issues. We talk openly and honestly about things. I simply didn't want my children to grow up to be selfish or self-centered. Once again, take the long view.

This is really important. It's not a competition. Children will not win if mom and dad are competing for them.

Len Stauffenger's parents taught him life's simple wisdom. As a divorced dad, he wanted to share that simple wisdom with his girls. "Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents," his book, is the solution. Len is an author, a Success Coach and an Attorney.

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