When Rita SommersFlanagan, Ph.D. and her daughter Chelsea Elander* recently asked hundreds of children of divorce what advice they would give to divorcing parents, the most frequent and emotional response they received was simply this, "Don't badmouth the other parent!!!"
Of all the stress children of divorced families endure, parents putting each other down was seen by them as the most difficult to tolerate. Why should that be? These kids must know that their parents have great issues with each other and that they don't like each other. What should it matter if that fact is expressed in front of them? Shouldn't they just get used to it?