How the ‘Blame Game’ Undermines and Affects Separated Parenting

As a parent, playing the ‘blame game’ may be fairly satisfying in the short term but will actually begin to surreptitiously undermine oneself eventually, whilst negating and eroding the other parent in the process. Sadly this can be typical behaviour I observe when parents separate. The need to blame is very much a part of the initial stages of grief and fury. It can feel really good to blame the other parent and thereby absolve ourselves of guilt – another painful emotion.   And of course there are only so many terrible feelings one can cope with when breaking up. It can feel so horrendous.

But, by finding oneself constantly in a blaming matrix and frequently blaming the other person, the longer we maintain our ‘fixed’ position, the longer we remain ‘stuck’ and avoiding necessary change. “It’s all his/her fault”, we say in adopting this ‘easier’ stance, where no shift or compromise or healthy self-analysis can take place.

If we are unable to be really honest about assessing our own roles, looking within ourselves and examining our own behaviour, in order to determine how one can change and learn from past incidents, then the situation may only become further ‘inflamed’ to a point that disables us like a paralysis. Entrenched and stuck in a rut, no progress or forward motion can be made.

When parents blame each other they are actually negating their own parenting prowess, robbing themselves of all their strengths and qualities as parents.  By spending a lot of energy focusing on one another’s mistakes, an impasse is reached. It is often at this point that their children will feel lost or overlooked. We end up with two negated parents, erased by their continuous blaming of one another and this can create an emotional deficit for the children. Particularly at a time when children need to observe their parents being stronger than ever.  Both parents need all the energy for themselves so that they can bring up their children.  An even more difficult task than usual!

Taking stock of oneself and taking control of our actions & reactions is far more rewarding and the results more tangible. One can see the progress from within.

Negative profiling, viewing the other parent with an ever-critical eye, ‘plotting’ their demise and obsessing over what they are doing with ‘your child’, ultimately only takes away from YOU as a parent.

The amount of time and effort wasted obsessing and generating negative energy and blame results in loss of time spent enjoying your child/ren. In building on the foundation of their childhood and creating lovely moments, we make wonderful memories for them.

Of course, it takes time to recover from a separation experience (especially if you are embroiled in family court legalities) so if you find yourself on this negative trajectory after more than a couple of years, then maybe it’s time to explore alternative options and other kinds of support.

Try to have more fun with your children. Stop looking at those court papers or taking note of all times the other parent is late for weekend pick ups, or making a case for your solicitor to present in court about ‘what an awful parent they are’. ‎It’s time to enjoy yourself and your child and to take healthy control, to reap the rewards of your decisive actions, to move forward and seek a fruitful future.