This is one of the most common comments heard when talking with people about an Ex. Those of us who are parents and inside a Complex Family often have an Ex, and we normally believe it is near impossible to get on with them. Let's face it, it didn't work when we were married or partners, so why would it now? But it needs too - if only for the kid's sake!

It doesn't matter what age our children are (including adult-children) our kids have two parents. The two parents are people they have the right to love as they choose and not as we want them to. If the Ex is really that difficult, our kids will work it out soon enough. It is not our job to help them see the flaws in our Ex, it is our job to help them learn how to deal with flaws when they naturally discover them. Think about it, if roles were reversed what would you like to have happen?

Most parents will talk about some weekends away when your kids come back with stories which make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. This doesn't mean that we need to make it all wrong, it doesn't mean we react to something we judge as stupid or foolish. Sometimes the most sincere mouth-piece will still leave out vital perspective, and do not underestimate how they could say things just to get a point across because they know it winds us up. Further still, sometimes our kids are just telling a story and we need to lighten up and let it go.

Parents are parents - typically doing the best with all we have. Even adult children would rather be able to mouth-off at us about the frustrations with our Ex and have us stay relatively neutral. They would prefer to be given the freedom to voice at someone who knows without suddenly being in a position where they are compelled to defend the very one they want to complain about.

A point worth noting: There is one thing about being a parent that we will all do - stuff up from time to time. We have all had our days where we've torn a strip of a kid for losing the 5th pair of shoes in three months, only to later realise it wasn't anything to do with them. We've all made poor judgement calls and our kids have also worn the brunt of the frustration. It's not their job to become judge and jury about who is right and wrong when it comes to their parent's worlds. They want the opportunity to have it as - it just is. Half the time they cannot be bothered taking sides or getting all ferocious about the differences because it's not their problem.

It affects our children if we continue to hold the view that we have the worst Ex. The Ex may be a complete pain, but provided what they are doing is not life-threatening, seriously emotionally or physically damaging, it's best to do all you can to make the relationship work. A way of doing this is no negative comments - regardless! It's a tough pill to swallow sometimes but it's a potent one. It allows your children to be truly free to feeling their own sense, rather than only hearing what you are telling them.

So when it comes to the Ex, even if you are struggling to let go, it's best to leave them to live their own life and you turn, focus on living yours. It is a true display of character to be supportive of your Ex when they've stuffed up and the kids tell you about it (and they do!). Just smile, knowing that you are now Ex's to each other.

Warmest :o)
Jill Darcey

Author's Bio: 

Jill Darcey (Author, Parent, Founder & Speaker), a mother of three; thousands of hours in counseling and coaching; and more than a decade of split-family co-parenting. Jill has both experience and wisdom; she's learned a lot of what does and doesn't work - and some of it the hard way!

Whether you are at the beginning of this journey, or a little further down the track and have been parenting with an Ex for a while, grab a copy of 'Parenting with the Ex Factor'. It is over 400 pages and is a practical and real 'How To' guide for parents; it answers over 60 FAQs that builds a strong platform for you to form your Complex Family, instead of taking the normal split family or broken home route.