Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Criticizing Former Spouse

Many parents make the mistake of saying negative things about their former spouse in front of their children. There are several reasons you might be tempted to do this, but for the sake of your children, it is best to refrain.

"It can be harmful when parents openly say things against the other parent," says Lynda. "At times in anger or hurt I would express that I was upset. I know that bothered my children and hurt them. I think that's a mistake."

Wayne Hudson explains, "What the parent really wants here is an ally. You want your children on your side. Because of that, you have a tendency to tell them things they shouldn't hear and to expose them to things they should never be aware of. You need to fight the overwhelming urge to do that. Understand that these are just children and they're not emotionally equipped to cope with such stress."

Think about recent instances where you said something critical about your former spouse. What were your motivations for saying it? How did your children react? Did you think before you spoke?

If critical words have become a habit for you, do not despair. You can work on developing a new habit, one day at a time. The next time a negative word is about to come out of your mouth, wait. Consider your words, your motivation, and consider how it might affect your children.

The Lord promises to help us in our weakness.

"Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).

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