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Who's version of events
Hi all,

Just wanted to put out there a concern of mine and see what others have experienced and how they tackled it.

I have been divorced for approx 9 months and all the way through the process I have tried my best to keep the children away from it all and not given any details about how and why. Obvs the ex is the opposite and tells the kids everything. Instead of telling them things that won't affect them she tells them completely false things and made up stories just to make me look bad. I now feel naive for trying to do the right thing for my children and whenever something comes up in conversation the kids always use her story and that upsets me cos it is totally false.

How do I deal with this? Should I be correcting the children?
Hi mate,

Similar situation where ex tells 6 yr old son inappropriate things and then denies it when I ask why he’s disclosing things which are clearly adult matters. An example of a recent one being that apparently some of his Nintendo switch games don’t work (rocket league being one) because I “did something to it”. I informed her months ago in front of him that he got a switch and the games were on my account, she told me she would buy him the digital games again. She hasn’t done so now he can’t play them so it’s now my fault. I actually just correct him and tell him the truth. Sometimes I just said no that’s not the case or I just change the subject. Try not to stoop to her level because when they get older they will see her being manipulative and work it out for themselves. It’s not that frequent for me but basically if something goes wrong it’s always my fault. Best one I had was step daughters father telling cafcass that his daughter was upset because I removed furniture (all which was agreed with mother!) from the house, a ploy to try and stop my contact with her and the joke is she on as fully aware I was taking stuff to my new place and me and mother made sure both kids were not around when I moved out with my stuff. Some people are just pathetic!
It's a difficult one - to correct it without sounding like you're dissing her and making him feel in the middle. A line that was suggested to me was "Mummy is mistaken about that, it is xyz but don't worry about it". So you're not directly saying she's a liar, but correcting the events. He will still feel confused with people telling him different things so I also try and change the subject and just do normal things and try not to spend too much time letting it dominate your time - which is what she wants, to try and spoil the time. Also develop a line that covers everything like "Mum and Dad don't agree on some things. That doesn't mean things are right or wrong, just seeing things differently. We both love you and you don't need to worry about these adult things and just enjoy having fun and being a kid." Or if he says - Mum says your'e a xxxx because you left us. You could just say - Mum sounds very angry. It's sad when people can't agree but we have separate lives now but we are both still your parents and love you.

Important thing is to correct, keep it brief and change the subject and not let it become a big dialogue that stops you just having normal times with him and talking about what he did at school today or telling jokes :-) I have the Star Wars joke book and used to get that out when I wanted to distract and change the subject. They learn more from how their time actually is with you than from what she says, so will learn the reality. It's worrying though when she is trying to cause a loyalty bind issue.

What your kids will see and remember, as they grow up. Is that Mum is the hating negative one, and Dad is the reasonable one who doesn't say bad things about the other parent - and that will help them trust you and feel safe and comfortable with you. Do you have any child arrangements order? If not then keep records of absolutely everything. Every day the children are with you, and the times. Every email or text to and from the ex. Make diary notes of things the children have told you. Email them to yourself. So basically you write yourself an email headed Diary note - 20th May - Children arrived upset saying Mum said I killed the cat to hurt her and I have left the kids and don't want them. The cat was put to sleep 6 months ago on vet advice. Reassured them that Mum and Dad both love them but don't agree on some things."

Really brief and factual. You could even have a separate email account to keep them in so easy to find. The reason for all this is at some point you may need to apply to court for an order if she stops the kids coming, and all that is evidence. Some may be useful, to counteract any allegations as the diary entries will be dated as email sent on that day. The records of what has been agreed between you, by email or text, as to when the children are with you, and the records of when they are with you, will help get back what you had before if she stops them coming.

I did that for years, kept diary records of every time son was with me. I actually needed to prove some things as she claimed I had hardly seen him for the first few years when it had been more like 50/50.

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