Divorce and break up from your significant other is very stressful. It can be even more stressful on your child. Many people hate each other when they split up. Sometimes they hate that person so much that they want everyone to hate that person, even their own child.
Bad mouthing your ex to your kid is never a good thing. Let me say that again. Bad mouthing your ex to your kid is never a good thing. It puts the child in a really bad position. Think about how you would feel if you were very close with your parents and they hated and bad mouthed your husband or wife. There are a lot of hurt feelings when someone insults your loved one. Families are torn apart because of this issue everyday. My 6th grade teacher told me that there are three sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth. People will tell you their side of a story in a way that gets you to sympathize with them. It's not necessarily a false statement but its not the total truth either. Parents put their kids in the middle of their adult affairs and its not right. Your child would be dealing with this adult issue that he/she is not equipped to handle.
Your child has enough love for two parents. It's not necessary to sway your child to be on your side. I'm not sure what parents expect to gain by bad mouthing their ex to their child. Do you expect your child to agree with you when you call your ex a bitch or an asshole? "Yeah Dad you're right, Mom is a bitch, she gets on my nerves too." "You're right Mom, Dad's being an asshole by not giving you more money to take care of us." Don't expect your child to be ok with these insults because they love both of their parents.
I knew someone who divorced with two small children. The children saw their father maybe once a year. He never sent birthday presents or Christmas gifts. Every now and then he would come in town and take the kids out for a fun day. The kids could not get enough of Daddy. It drove this Mom completely nuts but she took the high road. Years later, the kids began to realize that Dads are supposed to be active in their kids' lives. They are supposed to call and visit often. The kids are adults today and their relationship with their Dad is strictly financial or non-existant.
Parents, parents, parents, your children are intelligent people and if your ex is truly a jerk, your children will discover it. It will take some time but it will happen. Take the high road and help your child get through your divorce or break up with minimal emotional scars.
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