There is no black and white to raising kids.

We want them all to grow up well adjusted and happy; the rub is just how to do it.
In divorce it gets harder, especially if your ex spouse is impaired in some way.

Before you say anything, you have to look carefully at yourself. You have to make sure that you are sharing information with your child for the right reasons. If your ex has been drinking a lot and now has less visitation as a consequence, your fifteen year old probably should know, so talking about it openly will make her feel respected.

On the other hand, if you start lecturing your four year old about how bad Daddy is, this may only upset her more and make her feel that the world is unsafe – even if she is being protected by you. These things take judgment.

The key is that you have to say what is right for your particular child. It has to take into account age and appropriateness. And you have to check your feelings at the door, because you don’t want to alienate a child simply because you can – because you are mad and hurt. This can backfire badly.

Our children are not extensions of ourselves and deserve the right (within safe limits) to establish their own unique relationship with their other parent.The only truth that counts, in the long run, is the truth that we want all our children to grow up healthy and happy.

You may want to take a look at The Intelligent Divorce: Taking Care of Your Children for a more in depth discussion.