When I hear a mom badmouthing her kid's dad right in front of the child, I cringe. Literally. I can feel my face turning into a grimace, and I draw back my shoulder blades. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was watching Teen Mom 2 recently and heard Chelsea Houska talking about her ex-boyfriend, Adam Lind.
Notice I said "pleasantly." Chelsea has had her fair share of problems with her good-for-nothing ex, enough that she deserves her time to rant about him. But she's also made it quite obvious that she's aware little Aubree deserves a relationship with her dad.
Chelsea has started spelling Adam's name when she refers to him in front of Aubree. I noticed it a few weeks back and thought it might have been a fluke, but each time I tune in to Teen Mom 2, it happens again.
I wish I could go give her a big hug and a high-five. That's some parenting done right right there.
Listen, in a perfect world, we would all get along with our kid's other parent. But we all know it's not a perfect world. Put two people together, and there are bound to be problems between them at SOME point. Even parents who are happily married -- and don't have half of the issues Chelsea has with Adam -- sometimes get so annoyed with their spouse that it's hard to rein it all in.
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You hear it all the time. At the grocery store. At the park. At the beauty salon. Moms and Dads bashing the other parents while the poor kid sits there, soaking it all in.
I will say a lot of times I don't think the parents even realize it. Most I know won't say it directly TO their kids (although, yes, I've known those types too ... and they're awful).
But when a kid hears someone trashing their parent, what do you think it does to their psyche? This is half their gene pool AND a person they desperately love. Trash talking a parent with the kid in the room puts the child right in the middle, and that's just not fair.
So how do you get around it? Don't do it, for one, or if you're going to have to say something, take a page out of Chelsea's book and speak in code.
Obviously spelling Adam's name won't work forever for the Teen Mom. Her toddler is going to go to school and learn to spell one of these days. But the fact that she's aware of the precarious position she's in shows Chelsea knows she has to be careful; I have a feeling she'll come up with another solution when Aubree starts spelling.
Do you ever badmouth your kid's other parent? How do you get around it?
Image via MTV