### Expert Advice: Effective Co-Parenting Strategies for Travis Barker’s Ex

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian’s passionate romance has been a focal point for years, often due to their overt public displays of affection. However, the recent spotlight on the Barker/Kardashian relationship stemmed from a different source: Travis’ former partner, Shanna Moakler, who is the mother of their two children. Moakler chose to shed light on the couple, candidly expressing her sentiments and revealing intimate details about their marriage that concluded in the late 2000s.

As an expert in divorce and co-parenting, it is uncommon to encounter a co-parenting dynamic where lingering resentment does not exist post-separation. It is entirely normal to feel anger towards someone who has caused pain, betrayal, or upheaval in your life.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to refrain from burdening your child with these emotions or airing grievances publicly where your child may inevitably come across them. Regardless of your relationship status with the individual, your child still regards them as a parent.

During an episode of the Dumb Blonde podcast, Moakler openly discussed her emotions regarding Barker and his association with the Kardashians, alleging that they created a divide between her and her children. Let’s address the elephant in the room: witnessing an ex-partner move on to a happy relationship can evoke some level of resentment, especially when it involves a highly renowned celebrity who indulges in public displays of affection.

While the full extent of any individual’s circumstances remains unknown, it is essential to acknowledge that despite any animosity towards your ex’s newfound happiness, your children will not benefit from being exposed to continuous criticism of their other parent.

Research supports this notion. Children, regardless of age, exposed to ongoing parental conflicts face an increased risk of accumulating adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). These traumatic events during childhood can have lasting negative impacts on health, well-being, and interpersonal relationships, persisting into adulthood.

Evelyn Mendal, LMHC, an early childhood expert and therapist, emphasizes, “While the parent’s intention may be to inflict harm on the other parent, the primary casualty of such disparagement is often the child. Children may feel compelled to pick ‘sides’ and demonstrate loyalty as one parent undermines the other, casting them in a negative light.”

This detrimental cycle can lead to feelings of guilt, stress, and anxiety in children, potentially resulting in parental alienation, where one parent deliberately undermines the child’s relationship with the other.

If you find yourself in a co-parenting situation where your ex disparages you to your children consistently, it may be challenging to address this behavior. However, you can counteract it and safeguard your relationship with your children.

Maintain Consistency

Post-split, parents may engage in a competition to win their children’s favor. Despite concerns about your ex’s comments, avoid abandoning your established rules and competing for your children’s affection. Children thrive in a structured environment. By remaining a consistent caregiver, you provide the stability necessary for your child’s well-being.

Trust Your Relationship With Your Children

If your ex persistently criticizes you to the children, but your interactions with them are filled with love, support, and care, trust that the nurturing environment you offer will protect your relationship.

Avoid Escalating the Situation

If your children relay negative remarks from the other parent, refrain from retaliating. Instead, encourage critical thinking by prompting the child to delve deeper into what they’ve heard.

For instance, “Daddy mentioned that mommy is not a good parent. What do you believe defines a good parent? What qualities do you think make someone a good parent?” This approach encourages the child to contemplate independently and form opinions separate from the other parent.

Sharing parental responsibilities with a former partner is undoubtedly challenging. However, as an adult, you have the opportunity for a fresh start post-separation. Your children, on the other hand, do not have the same luxury of reliving their childhood. By prioritizing your child’s best interests, you can provide them with a separation experience they will appreciate in the future.