Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Competition between ex(s) only magnifies the bad feelings and contention in the relationship. Many times kids can feel this tension and can even become the center of the competition, feeling like a pawn in a highly competitive chess match. In this episode, we talk about how to avoid competition with your Ex or your Ex’s spouse.
Competing for the Kids
- When you start sharing custody, you will begin to feel distanced from your kids.
- Why Compete with your Ex?
- So your kids will love you.
- To get back at your ex.
- Your child already loves you, and you do not need to compete.
- The behavior to get back at your ex will only misfire. It puts your ex in a stronger position to counter-act your behavior.
- How do you compete?
- Buying your child gifts, toys, days off of school. (You want to be the favorite)
- Being more lenient with the kids, late bedtime, letting them eat whatever they want.
- What effect does it have in kids
- Only a negative effect on your child.
- Your change in behavior will only confuse them more.
- Kids want to feel secure, they need structure and routine.
- They are want to please you so they will act up and play the parents against each other as part of the competition. They want to please you.
- Work together with your ex. Present a united from. So that you respect each other
- Show love by spending time with them, listening to them, and showing concern for them.
- Work with not against your ex.
How to deal with a Disneyland mom or dad
- Remind yourself that love cannot be bought.
- Gifts offer temporary relief, they need comfort, not gifts.
- Be the bigger person and let them enjoy time with their mom or dad.
- Let your kids enjoy the time and attention.
- There is nothing you can do about it. So change your attitude.
- Competing over activities
- Example of the pumpkin patch.
- Sailing for the kids.
- No discipline. (Land of everything goes)
- The other parent’s time is the other parent’s time.
- You have to accept that the other parents time is their time you cannot.
- Be the best parent you can be. Don’t worry about the other parent’s style.
- Resist the urge to be the bad cop. You cannot only be the enforcer.
- Don’t double down on the house rules.
- Children thrive with consistency, structure, and loving. (Think long term)
Comparing with your Spousing Ex
- You don’t need to know everything about your spouse’s ex.
- Curiosity might be a reason, but be careful what you try and uncover.
- What do you do if your spouse asks about your ex? (Bed, body type)
- It’s not going to improve your relationship; it will only make you crazy.
- Money Battles, Visitation, and the Ex
- Don’t set yourself up as the antagonist in the battle for visitation and money.
- Don’t bring your spouses ex into your household. They are the past you are the present.
- You have control over how much your ex has in your household.
- Set up boundaries. Like in our last episode. When to take calls, emails, text, etc.
Lemonade Moment of the Week
- Neighbor bring lemons as a thankyou for hay bales we gave them after Halloween.