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Dealing with the confused child(ren)

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What is the name of your state? Indiana

Often times during a custody battle, one parent and/or both will continually bash the other. How do you effectively deal with the children's confusion?

For example, when the child comes for a visit and repeats all that the other parent has said and you know that a grown adult should not be sharing details of the case with a child, what can you really do?

I have taken my children to a counselor. I have refused to bash the other parent keeping in mind that children will form their own opinions in time. But that doesn't stop the ex from saying negative and hurtful things to the children. It is the children that is being affected and hurt. How do you deal with this? Can the court really do anything about it?

The reason I am asking is because I have never seen a court take affirmative action that is of any good use. It is sad to have a child come for a visit and literally be terrified and continually looking over their shoulder as if the other parent can really see that they are having a good time.

Sorry if this is too long, but it's been a rough week. I'm sure someone here has had to deal with this.


Leona Dennis

i understand what you are going through completly. my x bashes me all the time to my children, and they come to visit and tell me what there father has said. i can't stand their father, but i do not under any circumstances bash him in front of them because it isn't good for them.

taking them to a counselor is a good idea, but unfortunately the courts can not do anything to help you (at least not in the state of va). i have it worded in my visitation order that there is to be no bashing, and my x thinks he is god and does what he pleases. i have complained to the judge, and there is nothing that they can do except slap his hand and tell him not to do it again.

hopefully things will get better in time, i have realized you have got to have alot of patience when it comes to dealing with the courts in this country.

Curious in CA

Gosh, I don't have any advice for you. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do, other than what you are doing already. I do want to commend you for not participating in the parent-bashing. My husband and I still go through this with his ex-wife; their kids are 20 and 21 years old and she still tells them horrible stuff about us. He and I have been together for 3 years, and while his kids tolerate me, they certainly don't feel close to me. The ex says it's because I "don't want to be their mom" but I think it's because she says so many negative things about us. As for not wanting to be their mom, well -- DUH, that's a no-brainer. First of all, I am NOT their mom -- I am their stepmom. Second of all, they are 20 and 21 and don't need "mothering" any more!

Anyway, no matter how we feel about the ex-wife, we refuse to bash her to the kids. It's really sad that so many parents drag the kids into the middle of things and make things even uglier than they already are. You wouldn't believe the things this woman involved her children in at the time of the breakup/divorce. She managed to get almost all of hubby's family on the kids' s*** list, to the point where they don't want to see their grandmother or aunts and uncles. Now THAT is sad.

Sorry to ramble, but this topic is one that's close to my heart. Keep on doing what you're doing. You obviously have your children's best interests at heart and, again, I commend you for that. It's refreshing to find someone else who realizes that it's the children who get hurt when the other parent is bashed, not the other parent.

You should be proud of yourself for setting a good example for your children. Sad that the courts can't do anything, but you can feel good about yourself when you wake up in the morning, and I know of a lot of people who can't say that.

Keep up your good work.

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