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Words every divorcing parent should live by

Divorces can bring out the worst in people; especially when children are involved. Sometimes the parents' anger towards each other is reflected in the way they describe (or even treat) their children. In some instances, they will refer to the child as "my daughter" or "my son", thus treating them like property that cannot be taken without a fight.

Other parents may resort to badmouthing the other parent or poisoning the child's mind with lies and half-truths about them. Classic examples incllude, "Your mother's not here with us because she doesn't care." Or "your father's a drunk and you're better off without him."

Even if there is some truth to these types of allegations, there is a poignant reminder that puts things in perspective. It is a short rebuke of two fighting parents from a Minnesota family court judge.

Essentially, the judge reminds the parents that the child is a reflection of both of them; and when one parent disparages the other, he or she also insults the child. So when one parent is called an ungrateful liar, the child also called an ungrateful liar.

With that said, it is important for parents to realize the gravity of the words used in front of children. It's no secret that children of divorce have unique problems with self esteem. It would be tragic to further erode that self confindence by taking your frustrations with the other parent out on a child.

If you need assistance in managing a challenging relationship with another parent, an experiencd family law attorney can help

Source:, Parenting after divorce; Minnesota judge's profound advice for divorced parents, May 15, 2013

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