[Co-Parenting Matters] Talking To Your Child About Your Ex


As much as I have grown thorough my experience co-parenting over the past six years there are still much for me to learn.

I admit, I can be quite stubborn and there are certain things I will not budge on, and this causes severe tension between my co-parent and I. It’s fair to  say I hold quite a bit of anger towards him, which is quite unhealthy and has affected both my personal and professional life. Most importantly it’s affected how I communicate about him with our daughter.

I have the ferocity and strength of a mama bear protecting her cub when it comes to my daughter. And over the years I’ve felt the need to protect her…from her own father. Her little heart can only take so many letdowns and she shouldn’t cry over him and his broken promises. I internalize all of how she feels, and at times I feel like a ball of rage. At times feeling absolutely unable to console her or to make our overall situation any better.

When she talked about him, my body language changed, my eyes shifted and became just slivers. There was no conversation, she would talk and I would listen. But not really. One night while home watching the child he and I made sleep the night away, I wept. I wept for the man he wasn’t. I wept for her sorrows. I wept that I couldn’t protect her.

I wept because I was part of the problem. As much as I tried to hide my rage it showed, I thought my not talking about him was protecting her. It wasn’t, I was only making things worse, and showing my daughter she couldn’t talk with him about me. My rage towards him was affecting my relationship with my daughter, which was the last thing I wanted. It wasn’t he who needed to change. It was me.

Is my rage gone? I wish! I’m trying to work on harnessing that rage and not letting it consume me like it once did. Just at lunch yesterday my daughter brought up her Dad. I looked her in the eye and we had a conversation about her father. About how we both have tattoos of her name. Her face lit up…she grabbed my hand and asked more questions. And I enjoyed it.

As much as I may curse his name now,there was a time where he was the apple of my eye, and I want her to know about him, through my eyes. I don’t want her to think I don’t care about him, because I do, it’s just hard to show that at times through the rage.

This communication journey with my daughter about her father is uncomfortable, but she deserves it, and I don’t need to protect her from her father. She will create her own thoughts about him based on his behavior. But for now, for now, he is someone that may not live in our home, but lives in our hearts, and I work to make sure she knows that.

Are you struggling on your co-parenting journey? Tell us about it in the comments.


  1. I am struggling with my co parenting situation. I NEVER bad mouth him in our daughter’s presence but she knows something isn’t right.She asks me ” Why,don’t you like Daddy”? or “What did he do to you,Mommy?”.I never answer but,when I think about it, I’m not completely blameless.Yes,I ve kept my child away from him for no reason and then I get mad when he doesn’t offer to see her.I’m working on it is all I can say.


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