Don't Speak Badly About Your Children's Father

When you speak badly about your children's father, you can actually cause a lot of harm. Your priority should be for your children to feel safe and happy.
Don't Speak Badly About Your Children's Father

Last update: 15 February, 2020

Divorce isn’t the only time when one parent might speak ill of the other. In fact, this might also happen if one parent isn’t in the child’s life, or even if the couple is still together. But if you speak badly about your children’s father, it can actually hurt them. That’s why you should avoid it at all costs.

If you feel like your partner is betraying you, it’s normal to feel an uncontrollable desire to express your anger. However, don’t involve your children in it. Your priority should always be to protect them and keep them as healthy as possible.

Love and be loved

For kids, family is the center of their whole world. Mom and Dad are their go-to people and their safety net. Through the love and trust they provide, they form their personality and open up to the world.

Don't Speak Badly About Your Children's Father

Children need to love without feeling guilty. In addition, they need to be loved unconditionally by their parents to develop emotionally. Family is their safe and happy place, which gives them the confidence and encouragement to explore new places.

It’s a stable place to recharge, and plants firm roots that let them grow without fear. Family is so important that we need to do everything in our power to make it harmonious and happy.

Let your children love their father, even if you don’t anymore

The circumstances aren’t always perfect. Maybe the father wasn’t ever in the picture, or maybe you got a divorce. Or, even if you’re still together, conflicts and arguments may come up that can affect your relationship.

All of these circumstances are part of life. As adults, we have to face them in the best possible way. However, it’s clear that this should never affect your children’s well-being. If you can, try to avoid it. Obviously, this will have an impact on your children’s lives, but it can have different effects depending on how the adults around them act.

Maybe your children’s father (or mother) hasn’t behaved well, or maybe he hurt you or betrayed you. Perhaps you made mistakes too as a parent. It’s completely normal that this makes you feel angry or resentful.

However, you need to go through your own emotional process to be able to forgive. Without a doubt, your top priority should be protecting your children. In addition, this includes protecting the father’s vision and the bond he has with his kids. Children need to love their father and feel loved by him. They need this as much as they need it from you.

Don't Speak Badly About Your Children's Father

What happens when you speak badly about your children’s father?

When you speak badly about your children’s father, you steal a fundamental part of their development. When you tell them that their father is gone because he doesn’t care, that he doesn’t want to spend time with them, kids don’t understand that it’s not their fault. They think it’s their faultYour children will start feeling like they’re not enough, that they aren’t valid, and that they don’t deserve love.

When you say, “You’re just like your father” or “Your father is bad, irresponsible and selfish,” you’re putting them in a very hard position. They’ll feel forced to take sides, and will feel guilty for loving their father. In fact, they’ll feel a huge gap in their little world. They’ll no longer feel stability and harmony, but hate and confusion.

You might think that your children need to know what their father is like and that you shouldn’t lie to them. Therefore, you think they have the right to know the truth. In reality, what they’re entitled to is to be kids. They have the right to feel loved and safe, not to have to face adult situations. When they grow up, they’ll know, understand and reorganize what they went through from another perspective. For now, let them grow.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Sánchez-Queija, I., & Oliva, A. (2003). Vínculos de apego con los padres y relaciones con los iguales durante la adolescencia. Revista de Psicología Social18(1), 71-86.
  • Nuñez Mederos, C. S., Pérez Cernuda, C., & Castro Peraza, M. (2017). Consecuencias del divorcio-separación en niños de edad escolar y actitudes asumidas por los padres. Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral33(3), 296-309.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.