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A friend of mine is going through a divorce. She and her soon ex husband have two kids (7 and 3 years old) and have arranged everything regarding custody and visitations.

The other day the older kid was crying in bed and his mom managed to get him to tell her what's wrong. He went to the park with his dad that day and ended up playing soccer with some kids. His dad was telling him he's slow, he's not playing well and how the other kids were better than him, embarrassing him in front of the other kids. The kid was obviously crushed and he begged his mom to take him to soccer practice. She took him last year but this year their schedule is impossible to have her take him (dad wouldn't take him either).

This is just an incident used to demonstrate the parenting skills (or lack thereof) of the ex husband who was always immature and irresponsible.

My friend doesn't badmouth their children's father in front of them and she will try to talk to him to try and change his approach, but nothing will probably change, as this was one of the main reasons for their divorce.

How can she minimise the influence of his behaviour towards his kids?

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The best thing that any parent can do for their child, to minimize negative influences whether they come from the other parent or from other people, is to build their child's self esteem. Help the child find things they are good at and then move mountains to ensure the child has the opportunity and means to do them. A child who feels happy and competent will be more likely to let other's negativity in other areas roll of their back.

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