March 2017

Bad mouthing, Denigration and other games people play that harm the children When families separate they often complain about each other exposing the children to derogatory comments about the other parent. Sometimes parents do bad mouth the other parent to the children and sometimes they bad mouth them in front of the children. Sometimes extended family members participate in this as well. This behaviour is very damaging to children who are already going through enough difficulty coming to terms with the fact that mum and dad are no longer together. Sometimes we are quick to be critical of parents who behave in this way but it is helpful to understand that although the behaviour is inappropriate, it sometimes comes from a place of hurt and high emotion at a time when the parent is struggling to manage their emotional state. This is not said to condone this behaviour but is said to try to understand it. The solution, if the matter is before the Family Court, is for the Court to make injunctions which are Orders directing a person not to denigrate the other parent to or in front of the child or children and not to allow others to do so. Whilst this...

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