Say you’ve split up, and really want to stick it to your former spouse. Here are some sure fire ways to throw a wrench into your former spouse’s life, and make your kids suffer at the same time:
- Argue with your former spouse. Loudly. In front of the kids. Make it extra nasty by throwing in a few eye-rolls and dirty names. Kids need to know just how despicable their other parent is.
- Talk badly about your former spouse around the kids. Make sure it is clear whose fault the split was, and clearly lay out every shortcoming he or she has on a regular basis.
- Plan fun activities while your kids are supposed to be with their other parent so they will be reluctant to go with him or her. That will really prove who the better parent is.
- Turn holidays and special events into a competition. Make sure you get the bigger, better presents every time. Then the kids will know who loves them the most.
- Speaking of special occasions, stick to the visitation order without flexibility. Who cares if the kids have to miss something special with the other parent? They like you best anyway.
- Make sure the other parent knows as little as possible about junior’s schedule. Having your ex show up to ball games, music programs, or parent teacher conferences would be a drag for everyone.
- Discourage contact through email, text, and phone on any kind of a regular basis. You do not want your ex getting into your kids’ heads!
- Eliminate any contact with the family of your ex. They have no legal rights to the kids, so do not complicate your lives with communications with them.
- Make sure the kids know just how much of a struggle it can be since their other parent left. Your ex really made all of your lives more difficult, and the kids have a right to know what a selfish person he or she is.
- When the kids do go for visits, have them spy on the other parent for you. What a great way to find out what he or she is up to nowadays!
Seriously, Folks, the Divorce is Between you and your Former Spouse
Hopefully you realize that your divorce is between you and your former spouse. Kids are kids, and deserve protection from as much of the cruddy parts of life as possible. Instead of making them pawns in your divorce and throughout the rest of their lives, try putting them first:
- Keep disagreements between you and their other parent private;
- Keep negative feelings about their other parent, his or her new partner, etc. to yourself;
- Make visitation seamless and easy;
- Discuss important matters, from health to upcoming events, with the kids’ other parent;
- Include all grandparents in the kids’ lives if possible;
- Let the kids enjoy their other parent without worrying about you.
These simple tips really can help your kids get through a potentially traumatic event in their lives with strong, positive relationships and a healthy future. You love your kids. Now, more than ever, is the time to show it by swallowing the urge to create dissonance between them and their other parent. Continue reading →