I have said this to many of my friends and family members, watch what you say in front of your child. Kids are like sponges. They observe, retain and repeat things they have heard or seen. Like cartoons when they want to show you that big karate move or that song you with those sketchy lyrics they love to sing on repeat. Most kids find it easier to remember such things than they are remembering math problems.
Now I know there are parents out there that feels as though they should be honest with their child. I also understand the factors of an absentee parent. That's not where I'm coming from. My point is based on talking about the co-parent in a negative way in front of the child. To further explain, me and my co-partner have two boys together. We came to an understanding awhile back about what is being said in front of the kids. I always choose my words wisely when mentioning their father or I just tell them to go play. Although we sometimes get caught in our emotions we tend to forget how these words might effect a child perception towards the other parent.
In my opinion, I don't believe talking about the co-parent in a negative way is beneficial to the child. When co-parenting I try to keep in mind that my kids are also sharing their time with their dad and that they repeat things. I'm not saying lie to your child but I think being to honest can cause damage as well. Now this might not go far all situations and factors. I'm basing this off of two parents that just didn't workout such as my situation.
Our oldest use to ask me where his father was. I would say "he's at work" even if I didn't know where he was. I once witness a parent tell their child "idk out sleeping with other people". I never could understand why she would say that even if it's true. I would think to myself, this child might of felt unwanted. This kind of display towards the co-parent is unfair but then again I have witness both parties doing damage to each other with disregard to the child/children feelings. Its like forcing the child to pick sides. No child wants to pick sides. I would hate to hear parents talk so disrespectful about the co-parent especially if such parent is active in the child life.
I follow these 5 steps:
No bad mouthing -Kids will gain their own experience and opinion for the co-parent.
Don't let others do the same- such as parents, friends, etc. everyone has an opinion our kids don't need to hear any of them.
No arguing with co-parent in front of kids- just don't if there is something that need to be said we talk in private or somewhere the kids are not around
Always show respect towards the co-parent in front of parent- kids repeat behavior so I watch mine when their around.
This method has worked for me and the kids are not effected. When we have something to say we sometimes would wait until they were asleep or in daycare/school.
What are other ways do you believe should take place? What ways have failed?