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This Technique Will Make Co-Parenting With A Back-Biting Ex Much Easier

Jane Thrive, in a recent post for Divorced Moms, tackled the tough subject of how you should respond when your ex talks bad about you. As an online divorce review site, we hope you never have to deal with this particularly tricky subject matter, but let’s be realistic. Not every divorce is clean and collaborative. You may need to hear what Jane has to say, and while all of it is gold, this particular method of validating your child’s experience was a favorite.

In the example that Jane chooses, Dad has told the child that “Mommy is rich and Daddy is poor because Daddy gives all his money to Mommy.”

Many single mothers have to deal with this type of scenario day-in, day-out, but the author’s response is pitch-perfect. In her words: 

“Validate by responding: “Gosh, I’m sorry your dad said that to you. Or, “how did it make you feel when he said that?” This communicates that you are listening, that you believe your child heard what dad said, and you are respecting the space that they are trusting you with their worry or concern about it.

“Next, tackle the subject. Instead of saying, “how dare dad say I’m rich, I can barely pay the rent/mortgage, and he doesn’t even pay full child support!” You could say, “gosh, what does poor mean?”or “what does rich mean?” and start a meaningful conversation that is not focused on mom or dad.”

In Jane’s case, once she’d done these things she asked the child a series of questions: Does Daddy live in a nice house? Does Daddy have a truck to drive? Does Daddy have a cell phone?

Once the child answered “Yes” to all these questions, it became apparent that Daddy and Mommy both were better off than a lot of people, and Jane was able to remove the stigma that her child’s father tried to place on her without saying anything negative about him.

While we offer online divorce reviews of the top attorney referral and DIY forms services on the web, we also like to know about your experiences. What effective conflict diffusing techniques have you used to combat negative talk that your ex has said to your child? Share yours below!

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