After a difficult divorce it is probably no secret that you aren’t the most fond of your ex. Unfortunately, you are left dealing with them because you get the joy of co-parenting your children together, which isn’t always an easy task when there are ill feelings on both sides. But, like it or not these children came into the world because of both of you.
Because of this it is important to never say anything negative about their other parent. They are one half of each of you. Every time you say something negative about their father you are teaching them that one half of them is bad, thus setting them up for internal destruction. Children already blame themselves for so much when it comes to divorce, their self-esteem is fragile during this time, don’t give them fuel to feed that fire. Even if your ex is a horrible person and has done horrible things, find some way to turn those negatives into positives. If nothing else, resort to the superficial. “He gave you your beautiful eyes.” “He has a great smile.” And ultimately, “He gave me you!” There were things you liked about this person at some point, after all you did decide to have children with him, do what you can to focus on the good things, even if they are few and far between.
Remember this is someone that your children love dearly. He is half of them. While it may be easy to slip up when you are angry about choices he is making, keep those thoughts to yourself. If you must talk to someone about them, be sure to do that when your children aren’t around. They don’t need to hear all of the things their father is doing, they simply need to know that they are loved by both of their parents and that you will encourage that relationship no matter what.