How To Handle An Ex When You Have Children

In response to the Ultimate Break Up Guide, a few readers asked me questions about how to handle a break-up when children are involved.

I wanted to respond to this, because it’s so important…

From my perspective, it’s vital to put your kids before all else. The love the parents have for their children should outweigh any negative feelings the parents have toward each other.

Thus, rule number one:

Never ever speak negatively about your ex to or in the presence of your children.

4 Signs You Should End Your Relationship

No matter what happened between the adults, it’s not the child’s fault, and each parent deserves the other’s respect in the child’s eyes.

Continue to work as a team to raise your kids, even if at a distance.  In spite of the breakup, your child needs you both.

Develop a routine or schedule that allows for both parents to consistently be a part of the child’s life.

If it’s too painful or stirs up too many dark feelings when you’re in contact with your ex, enlist a calm and mature friend to help with the communication between the parents, handling phone calls and interactions in your place.

Do not choose a friend who is mad at your ex and just wants to stir things up more. Utilize this mediator-friend until you feel you are ready to work with your ex.

More on KimberlyElise.com: Is it meant to be if he broke up with me? Read and reflect here.

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Also, Many women and men may ask if they should stay with a partner for the children’s sake, despite not being happy with their relationship.


The answer to this question is far too personal for me to give a yes or no answer, since every relationship is completely different.

However, from my perspective, you only need to ask yourself one question:

Is this the kind of marriage that I want to demonstrate for my children? 

As parents, we model relationships, family dynamics, and adulthood for our children. Therefore, in the instances where adults are able to privately and maturely work on their relationship, it could absolutely benefit your son or daughter.

Check out these 5 Signs Your Love Is Meant To Be.

But if the marriage is filled with frequent and uninhibited episodes of anger, abuse, or unhealthy sadness, you could be setting an unhealthy model for your child.

Are you struggling with moving forward from your ex-boyfriend or ex-spouse?

Check out the rest of my Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Over Your Breakup guide.


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kimberly elise


Kimberly Elise is an award-winning film and television actress, who is best known for her leading roles in The Manchurian Candidate, Beloved, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and Set It Off. A vegan, Kimberly advocates cruelty-free, mindful, authentic living.