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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can my ex and I stop fighting in front of our kids?

    Related Topic
    Whenever I see my ex-wife to pick up my kids, we end up having a fight, i know this is affecting them. How can I stop this?
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  • I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    There are many things you can do to form a more harmonious situation for your children. I'm not sure what you have tried already. I also do not know what triggers your fights. You say you know this is affecting your kids. it may even affect their ability to form long-term adult relationships themselves later in life. This may sound brutal but it is a well researched area. I say this because sometimes we don't really admit the significance of our behaviour. Really stopping and thinking about the long term affects of this on your kids could be a catalyst for change. Another thing that can help is to act as if they are your next door neighbours kids. Answer truthfully to yourself would you really fight with your ex-wife in front of other people's kids? If the answer is “No” then you may just be able to control yourself by using this little ploy. After all your own kids deserve at least as much respect as do your next door neighbours. Can you agree on some rules ahead of time, such as only talking about thorny issues when the kids are not present? After all you both care about your kids and your kids deserve to have adult behaviour modelled for them. Failing this I would recommend getting professional assistance from a counsellor to help you and your ex change the dynamic. There really is a lot at stake.

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