Talking to child about ex's new relationship

View Katherine Sellwood, PsyD's video on Talking to child about ex's new relationship...
Talking to child about ex's new relationship | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Talking to child about ex's new relationship

If your ex is in a relationship, you need to address it with your child right away. Don't wait for the child to ask questions, just assume that they are going to have questions and want to know what's going on. If you are the one who broaches the subject with your child, then that let's them know that this is an okay topic to talk about. You want to ask them, "How do you feel about daddy's friend? How do you feel about dad?" You just want them to talk about their feelings and understand what they are thinking and what they are feeling, because this is a very confusing time for them. They may not have the emotional vocabulary, so it is okay for you to give it to them, to help them sort out this very confusing time for them. What you don't want to do is trash talk your ex or their partner. You really have to separate your anger from what you feel versus what your child feels. If a child picks up on your anger or gets the sense that you are unhappy with where they are at, this is going to cause them to do one of two things. Number one, feel guilty if they like the person; or number two, it's going to cause them to dislike the person and just to appease you. Any kind of guilt or resentment harms the child.

View Katherine Sellwood, PsyD's video on Talking to child about ex's new relationship...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Katherine Sellwood, PsyD


Dr. Katherine Sellwood is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Encino, California, who specializes in child, adult and forensic family psychology. She began her Master's Degree training at Pepperdine University, continuing her education at C.S.P.P. to obtain a Doctoral Degree in the field of Clinical Psychology. Since entering the field in 1996, Dr. Sellwood has garnered a diverse professional background that includes working as an elementary and middle school counselor, college and regional center disabilities specialist, executive director of a non-profit organization in psychology, consulting psychologist at hospitals and in-patient medical facilities, and an academic Professor of Psychology at several graduate schools. Dr. Sellwood has been a guest lecturer presenting topics that include: anger management, early childhood development, play therapy techniques, taking a stand against teenage violence, developing resilience, treating children of divorce, loss and grief, adolescent girls and disordered body images, understanding behavioral difficulties.

Dr. Sellwood holds a license in clinical psychology through the state of California. She is on the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a Diplomate with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Her professional affiliations also include The American Psychological Association, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and The American Academy of Clinical Psychology. She has received professional honors and recognition through the Psy Chi National Honor Society of Psychology, the California Senate for excellence in school counseling, student nominated Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and peer nominated Sierra Tucson’s Gratitude for Giving.

More Parenting Videos from Katherine Sellwood, PsyD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter