Should You Bad Mouth Your Ex In front of your Kid?

I just can’t resist writing about this as one of the Philippines’ famous celebrities is at it again. I won’t go into the details as it is already a shame that what she had done recently is once again front page news.  But an interesting question from all the assumptions that can be had is : should you talk bad about your ex to your kid?

I’ll be honest and say that is very hard to resist especially when you caught the ex fooling around, or he has not done anything by way of supporting the child. In a single parent household, it is always so tempting to get the sympathy and undivided love of a child by picturing the single parent as the martyr in the situation, the one that was betrayed and left with the sole burden of taking care of the child in all aspects.  Countless times, I have bitten my tongue, caught myself at the very moment when the desire to badmouth the ex was so strong.  With God’s grace and a resolve not to open my mouth when I have nothing good to say, I think I am doing perfectly fine.

I asked my ex to leave our house, repeatedly hurt and knowing that I have reached the limit of my patience and forgiveness.  Hours after I dropped the bomb, I realized how selfish I was, thinking only of myself, and not about the year and a half old baby who was going to be deprived of a father.  But me and him, we were already a hopeless case.  But I was not going to get in the way of our child and her father developing their own relationship.

And so, it was open-door policy for him.  He could come any time, as long as he does not bring her out of the house unless accompanied by my mom.  He had full visitation rights and that wasn’t by order of a court.  Just the acceptance and tolerance of a mom who understands that no matter what has happened, they will always be father and daughter.

Whether he exercises his right to visit her anytime is entirely up to him.  What he does to build that relationship and maintain it is entirely up to him.  Sadly, he has not shown nor made her feel what it is to have a real, caring and loving father whose presence and support can be felt.  And guess what? I don’t have to say anything, I don’t have to utter one single bad word about him.  The child knows, the child feels, and she will make her own decisions as far as their relationship is concerned.

What I just hope to do is to teach her not to have feelings of resentment, and that each parent has a different way of showing his/her love.  I recount to her the good times when she was still a baby and when her dad was an active co-parent.  She might not really remember things but I can feel that she loves hearing these stories, it makes her feel that she was loved by her dad.  And I love it when she hugs me real tight when I tell her that God has given me a bottomless well of love to give her, so I could make up for daddy’s part.

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