“This world can put a hole in your soul sometimes, Put you at the end of your road, Sometimes you just break down, When this world tries to end you, I defend you..
I’ll be there to stop the bleeding, I’ll be there to start the healing…” Ciara, “I Got You”
Fulton County, Georgia (Jan 6, 2017): Singer, songwriter and actress, Ciara, has dropped a $15 million defamation law suit filed against her ex-fiancee, rapper, Future.
Ciara accused Future of making public comments that portrayed her in a “false light” and spoke negatively about her parenting ability. Future also characterized Ciara as greedy for seeking child support for their son. The lawsuit resulted after Future blasted Ciara in social media posts, and called her names like “bitch” and “punk ass ho”. Journalist Stereo Williams criticized the disrespect in which Future addressed Ciara and stated (excerpt, link to full article posted below), “A disagreement over child support doesn’t have to devolve into a famous man publicly calling the also-famous mother of his child a “bitch “” and “...men must be held accountable for their behavior and to the women with whom they have a child…”
The couple’s relationship ended shortly after the birth of their son, in 2014. I agree with Stereo Williams – the end of a relationship with another person should not mean that your child is dragged into your drama, and made a part of the break-up. It is wrong to bad mouth an ex, especially in a public way, because what you are saying – and doing – will hurt your child. And hurt your child even more than it would hurt your ex. Adults have the ability to deal with their issues or seek legal recourse; the same can’t be said for children who are caught in the middle. A parent’s words and actions create the environment in which child lives, and ultimately shapes who the child grows into. Parents need to be mindful, and protective, that they do not project their own issues onto a child. You don’t have to agree with your ex or even like your ex but for the sake of the child, it is best to remain polite and respectful.
Side note: I do realize there are cases (like mine) where parents find themselves in situations where they do go public with certain issues involving their family – this happens a lot in cases involving domestic abuse, extreme custody disputes, and with other serious issues that impact the family or society. I think there is a fine line between exposing a problem and outright bad mouthing an ex (or anyone else). For me, personally, I balance that line by checking my motivations – i.e. does speaking out serve a greater purpose or is about me? Sometimes you do need to speak out to right a wrong or address a problem or raise awareness…. but when doing so, it is also important to be professional and respectful when addressing those issues (stick to facts!). Avoid personal digs or disclosing information to embarrass or hurt someone. Also, continue to educate yourself and seek other avenues for networking, and raising awareness. Working with other people on a common goal or issue is how you make a difference (and is not the same as carrying out a personal vendetta against someone).
Ciara previously released a heartfelt song and video title “I Got You” dedicated her son. “I Got You” is about her love for her son, and her efforts to protect him when the world/life becomes tough. The video includes home videos beginning when Ciara announces her pregnancy, and continuing through the first year of her son’s life.
Even though dismissed, Ciara’s lawsuit raises awareness that bad mouthing, and speaking negative about the other parent, is harmful to children and makes co-parenting more difficult.
Because children share a bond with both parents, and relate to each parent in a special way, children will internalize negative talk made about a parent as if it were said to them personally. Judge Ann Kass (2nd Judicial District, New Mexico) wrote Don’t Bad-Mouth Divorcing Parents In Front of Children; Criticizing a Parent Also Hurts Kids and says,”Children see themselves as half of each parent. When children hear bad things about one parent, they hear bad things about half of themselves. If they hear bad things about both their parents, they feel that both halves of themselves must be of little worth.” Negative comments about the other parent also cause anxiety, fear and increase stress in children.
Tips On How to Avoid Bad Mouthing/Negative Talk About the Other Parent:
*Avoid talking about adult issues (such as the divorce/separation) where children can overhear, or when children are present.
*Similarly, instruct family and friends to avoid talking negative about the other parent in front of the child, or talking about adult issues in front of the child
*Do not tell a child about the other parent’s short comings or give the child your opinion of the other parent
*If you personally are struggling with the end of a relationship, or with your ex – seek appropriate help or support. Do not shift the blame or dump issues onto children. Places of support may include: family, friends, spiritual support, support group, therapist, etc
*Similarly – it’s okay to apologize!
*If you have a problem with your ex, or need to communicate, take it directly to them – not to the child. If communication is a problem you may consider additional help or support such as: spiritual council, community support, therapy, mediation, family, friends, legal help, parenting/family coach etc
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CIARA’S LAWSUIT: