Skip links


Don’t Practice Poison Parenting

Breaking up is hard to do and it may be especially hard on the kids if they feel torn between warring parents. While I like to put the focus on what “to do” rather than what “not to do,” there are some poison practices worth avoiding.

Regardless of your situation with your Ex, keep you kids out of it. Period. It’s unfair and causes undue emotional stress to use your kids to deliver messages or information to your Ex. Even the most seemingly benign logistics such as pick-up times or lunch money can be charged with emotional fallout.

Avoid oversharing with your kids and using them as your confidants. Their own anxiety and concern for you may come across as them being supportive of you and what you’re going through. However, breaking these boundaries does real damage to your kids’ peace of mind. They can’t handle your adult issues and emotions.

Don’t grill your children for details when they come back from being with your Ex. This puts them in the middle, an uncomfortable emotional position. Stick to light, general questions such as “Did you have fun?” and then let it go.

As tempting as it is, DO NOT trash talk your Ex to your kids or within their earshot. Bad-mouthing can include name-calling, telling the “truth” as you perceive it, blaming and criticizing. Your Ex could be the biggest jerk west of the Rockies, but when you say negative things about their other parent you’re putting your kids in an emotionally impossible situation. The unintended consequences include creating long-term psychological scars for your kids and damaging your relationship with them. In fact, it’s likely to make them more sympathetic to your Ex. Adult children of divorce report the devastating impact this nasty, trash-talking habit had on them. It poisons parent-child relationships and it’s not worth it.

If you suspect or know, that your Ex is “throwing you under the bus” when it comes to your kids, take the high road. If they bring it up to you, listen and reassure them. You can say something like, “Your mom/dad is really angry right now and it sounds like she’s/he’s having a hard time getting over it. I trust that she/he will get past it. The most important thing for you to know is that I love you and that she/he loves you—no matter what.” If you’re concerned that it’s causing them stress, give them access to a therapist so they can share feelings in a neutral space.

What if you’ve already made one or more of these mistakes?

Use it as an opportunity to teach your kids how to apologize and make amends. In other words, own up to it with them. Tell them you’re sorry about what you said, or have been saying to them, about their other parent. Tell them it’s not okay and that you made a mistake. Tell them you were angry but now you know there are better, more constructive ways to deal with your anger. This teaches them what it looks like to gracefully take responsibility for your mistakes and to apologize. Then, do better. Show them you are reliable and are putting them first.

In case you missed them, here are links to the first two parts of this series on helping your kids to thrive after your divorce:

Part 1: Give Your Kids Some Power

Part 2: Give Your Kids an Outlet for Their Feelings

Deb Purdy, is a transformation coach, speaker, workshop leader and author of
Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter and Happier After Divorce.

Visit for more information.
Join the conversation on social media:

Instagram: @lovedebpurdy

Twitter: @lovedebpurdy

Facebook: debpurdyofficial

Leave a comment

  1. Thank God I trusted Doctor Odunga to bring my ex husband back after 4 years of separation. Before I met Doctor Odunga I searched many websites looking for ways to get my ex husband back after leaving me for another woman. I was devastated but Doctor Odunga gave me hope and assurance that he will be brought back to me. After casting the spell, within 24 hours my husband called to tell me that he is coming back home to me and our two kids. The next day he arrived home and I was very happy to meet him again. I am using this means to appreciate Doctor Odunga for what he did for me and also helping serious minded ones who want to get their loved ones back. Contact Doctor Odunga at OR Whats-app him at +2348167159012

  2. I was searching for help online on how to get my ex back whom we got divorced 5 months ago and i came across so many testimonies online on how this wonderful man called Dr Kala help them to get back their loved ones and restore broken marriages and i quickly contact him on the email that was provided on the comment and explain my problem to him and he did a nice job by helping me to get my divorced husband back within 48hrs.. I never believe that such things like this can be possible but now i am a living testimony to it because Dr Kala actually brought my husband back to me, If you are having any relationship problem why not contact Dr Kala for help via email: or WhatsApp him on +2347051705853. Then I promise you that after 48 hours you will have reasons to celebrate like me.

  3. Hello my name is Vivian Marcus from the United State, i’m so exciting writing this article to let people seek for help in any Break up Marriage and Relationship, Dr Kachi brought my Ex Boyfriend back to me, Thank you Sir Kachi for helped so many Relationship situation like mine to be restored, i was in pain until the day my aunt introduce me to Dr Kachi that she got her husband back with powerful love spell with help of Dr Kachi So i sent him an email telling him about my problem how my Boyfriend left me and cheating on me because of her boss lady at work i cry all day and night, but Dr Kachi told me my Boyfriend shall return back to me within 24hrs and to me everything he asked me to do the next day it was all like a dream when he text me and said please forgive me and accept me back exactly what i wanted, i am so happy now as we are back together again. because I never thought my Ex Boyfriend would be back to me so quickly with your spell. You are the best and the world greatest Dr Kachi. if you’re having broke up Ex Lover or your husband left you and moved to another woman, You do want to get Pregnant do not feel sad anymore contact: drkachispellcast@gmail. com his Text Number Call: +1 (209) 893-8075 You can reach him Website:

  4. I just want the whole world to know about this spell caster I met two weeks ago,I cannot say everything he has done for me and my family I was going through online when I meant this wonderful man’s testimony online how he won a lottery through the help of dr Ose I decided to just give it a try and my life is back to me now after i lost my job due to covid  he gave me a winning numbers to play lottery and i won 5000usd for my first play since then i have been working with him and he has been giving me numbers to play my lottery i can not write everything he has done for me if you need a lottery spell today contact him on
    whatsapp +2348136482342