How we impact children with our words is worthy of consideration
I’ve never really cared much for the term “my ex”. I’ve always preferred softer terms like “my former partner”, “my former spouse” or the use of first names. As between adults, the use of the term “my ex” makes emotional sense, as a reflection of the severance of the adult relationship.
I often wonder how children feel when they hear one parent refer to the other as “my ex”. It sounds like someone got chopped right out of the family and yet, we tell children all the time that they still have a family, will always have a family and that their family simply lives in two homes now, not one.
The vocabulary children hear from their parents after separation gives them a lot of messaging and context for themselves and members of their family. Most parenting plans include provisions through which parents undertake not to make negative, critical or judgmental comments about each other when their children are present or when their comments may be overheard. Somehow these provisions seem at odds with the use of the term “my ex'“.
How our words impact children is worthy of consideration.