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How to acknowledge a child's feelings without badmouthing the other parent

(2 Posts)
bobosparty Wed 13-Jun-18 20:31:42

Dc's father (ex) is very far from perfect but loves them and we share care 80:20 to me. He has been a goodish-mediocre father all things considered, albeit a lazy irresponsible one.

As they have got older they are becoming increasingly aware of his imperfections and I'm wondering how to handle this. This evening ds2 became upset and said some sad stuff about his dad. He apparently calls him 'obsessed' and 'addicted' to a particular singer and youtube. It's probably a fair comment, but I remember being pretty obsessive at that age (9) and, afaiac ex should regulate time on devices rather than just leaving it and suddenly flying into a rage because he's been on it too long.

Ds2 is upset because ds1 is also quite obsessive but, because they are obsessions ex shares (namely cricket) it doesn't get the same anger from ex. I have told ex in the past that he should make time to do stuff one-to-one with ds2 because ds1 gets more time with him because of cricket, but he has of course ignored me and now, as I predicted, ds2 has noticed it and said tonight that he feels ex loves ds1 more than him and that it's because of cricket sad.

How do I deal with this? I've given up trying to intervene in the relationship because ex ignores me, but what do I say and do for ds2 in these circumstances?

RandomMess Wed 13-Jun-18 21:10:01

I would empathise and ask DS2 why he thinks his Dad said it.

I would read "How to listen so kids will talk, and talk so kids will listen" your DS needs to work it out for himself, you need to validate his feelings towards his Dad - both the good and not so good ones thanks

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