“Top 5 Mistakes Divorcing Parents Make” with Trey Ishee

Doctor Trey Ishee of Southeast Psych joins the podcast this week to discuss common mistakes divorcing parents make. Trey shares personal anecdotes from his career as well as a number of strategies to overcome these common mistakes and/or avoid them all together.

While openly embracing pop culture and superheroes, Trey provides psychotherapy to children, families, and parents. His training, research, and practice have focused on ADHD, parenting, disruptive behavior disorders, anger management, and child and adolescent depression. You can connect with Trey at www.southeastpsych.comtishee@southeastpsych.com, or at 704.552.0116.

Click here to call Touchstone Family Law now!

Key insights from the episode:

[7:30] – The #5 mistake divorcing parents make: dividing the loyalties of the children

[11:37] – What age does a child get to decide which parent to live with?

[13:26] – The #4 mistake divorcing parents make: assuming the intent of the other parent’s behavior

[15:04] – The #3 mistake divorcing parents make: not communicating enough with the other parent

[20:55] – The #2 mistake divorcing parents make: failing to set/respect boundaries and failing to redefine their relationship as co-parents and nothing else

[24:30] – The #1 mistake divorcing parents make: speaking poorly about the other parent

Ready to discuss your child custody situation now? Call 704-936-0062 to speak with an experienced Touchstone Family Law attorney today.

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The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team (NC & SC) at http://www.TouchstoneFamilyLaw.com

Read Full Transcript

Announcer:                            [00:01]                       Hello there. Going through a divorce? Considering one? Sorry to hear that but here you are. Welcome to Splitsville. You’ll find Splitsville to be a pretty unique place, a new world really with its own rules, its own expectations, and in many ways, its own language. But don’t worry, you have a knowledgeable guide along the way. A family law attorney with three decades of experience under her belt. And now, here she is, your host and guide, Leigh Sellers.

Leigh Sellers:                         [00:37]                       Hi, everyone. And thanks for tuning into another episode of Welcome to Splitsville. I’m your host and guide, Leigh Sellers, founder of Touchstone Family Law. And in this episode, I’ll be answering another question that many newcomers to Splitsville have, top five mistakes divorcing parents make. So let’s dive in. Well, today we’re here with Trey Ishee who is with Southeast Psych and we are really happy to have him. I met him years ago when the concept of having therapists work with high conflict divorcing parents was starting to become something that we attorneys learned about, that there was this special tool that we might be able to offer our clients that might assist them in continuing to both be meaningfully involved in children’s lives. And that’s actually how I met Trey and have just continued to follow him and the work that he and Southeast Psych have done ever since becoming introduced. So I’m really excited that you made time to come speak with us today. But why don’t you tell listeners that might not be so familiar about you, what your background is, and what it is that you’re doing.

Trey Ishee:                               [01:58]                       I’m a clinical psychologist. I work with kids and families, social and emotional difficulties, academic problems, learning cognition, ADHD, that sort of thing. So I do a lot of work with a lot of different problems and struggles and kids.

Leigh Sellers:                         [02:13]                       I want to give you an opportunity to tell everybody a little bit about Southeast Psych because I’m a big fan of the philosophy of Southeast Psych. And so, why don’t you go ahead and just speak to that a little bit.

Trey Ishee:                               [02:26]                       It’s just the coolest place in the world. Everyone should want to go there. Everyone should want to work there. It’s a different kind of psychology practice, pretty modern, pretty innovative. We embrace a lot of pop culture and we’re always looking for our inner superheroes and that sort of thing. It’s serious work because it’s serious work. But we try our best to make it as fun as it can be when people come to us, they come to us because they’re having a difficult time but we really try to bring out the best part of people and ourselves and try not to take our very serious work too seriously.

Leigh Sellers:                         [03:01]                       And it’s just a very welcoming environment and I think anybody who has apprehension about seeing psychologists and specialists in this area would be very comfortable. You guys have created a great environment on top of having top-notch people but I think that that emotional barrier for people that maybe didn’t grow up having an opportunity to see a therapist or don’t really know exactly what it is, it helps.

Trey Ishee:                               [03:26]                       Yeah. It’s very approachable. I knew when we were getting it right when some of my high school kids were coming to their appointments 45 minutes to an hour early to hang out before their appointment. I walked in and saw one of my kids and I said you know, your appointment’s not for a bit. And he said yeah, I’m just here to hang out. I thought yeah, we’ve cracked the code.

Leigh Sellers:                         [03:44]                       You had something. Well, if you start with the premise of being positive about it or overly optimistic. But if you start with the premise of most parents who are going through a divorce want their children to do well and want to take care of their children and want to impact their children as little as possible, it’s still amazing just how easy it is to just completely do the opposite, isn’t it?

Trey Ishee:                               [04:13]                       Yeah, yeah. And it’s tough to talk about a good version of this. When I talk to parents and we’re talking about the outcome, and that’s a big thing that I talk about is let’s take the long view on this because there’s going to be graduations, there’s going to be babies born, there’s going to be weddings, and all of that stuff in the future. So there is no good version of this. And it’s not not being positive to say there’s just better versions of bad because this is not the way that this was supposed to go and that the goal is you think long term, you think down the road. What you want to happen is your son, he’s in college and he meets the girl. And she asks him about his life and he says, “Oh yeah, then there was when my parents got divorced.” And she says, “How was that?” And he says, “Eh, it was okay.” It’s never going to be oh, it was great.

Leigh Sellers:                         [05:07]                       Exactly.

Trey Ishee:                               [05:08]                       Let’s do that again.

Leigh Sellers:                         [05:09]                       Best time of my life.

Trey Ishee:                               [05:12]                       Right. But just to have it be an eh, that’s the goal. And I know that doesn’t seem positive but it’s not negative either. We just want this to be as neutral, as close to neutral as possible, and just to be a thing that happened. And we put things in a box in life … and I’m going to get back to this in a bit that we have things … and a big thing that we talk about with the kids that we work with in all different ways is fast forward and look back, what is your child going to see when he looks back on his childhood as an adult, 20 or 30 or 40 something.

Trey Ishee:                               [05:48]                       And for all of us, our personal histories, we have these things in boxes, right? There’s when we moved. There’s my first day of high school. There’s when I broke my arm. I distinctly remember breaking my arm when I was a kid. I don’t remember what happened the day before and I don’t remember what happened the day after or the days in between but the next thing that I put in a box but I very clearly remember breaking my arm. And this is going to be a thing that’s going to be in a box whether you want it to or not. So we spend a lot of time just chewing on that, just let’s take that seriously, because it’s inevitable and it’s your responsibility right now because you can dictate what this is going to look like when they look back on it. So I’ll get back to that in a second.

Leigh Sellers:                         [06:31]                       Well, and it’s tough because mistakes are always made in parenting. We all wonder what we could have done differently or what we could have done better. We all self-evaluate as parents. I think it just comes with the territory for most parents that you’re fairly critical of yourself as you’re going through this process. And what’s interesting with working with parents through the divorce process is it really doesn’t matter how in tune or committed somebody is to trying to do it quote/unquote right. Mistakes are just going to happen no matter how well intentioned the parents are because it’s life and it’s really no different than parenting your child through any other crisis except for the difference may be that you’re going through a crisis at the same time yourself and it just makes it even harder to support somebody else when you need it.

Trey Ishee:                               [07:20]                       Right, right, sure. Keep your own head clear. So that’s a really nice segue way into the first mistake that I wanted to talk about is that mistakes are made by well intended people. And the first one I’d like to talk about is what I call divided loyalties. And that’s when … and this is usually often maybe even usually not even intended as a mistake. This is a well intended mistake. But the idea is that there are times when parents put a child in a place where they have to be loyal or disloyal to another parent.

Leigh Sellers:                         [07:54]                       Correct.

Trey Ishee:                               [07:54]                       And the most simple example of that is where do you want to be on your birthday? Or where do you want to be Christmas morning? And I understand. I get it. Parents say look, he’s had so many things out of his control. This was not what he wanted. She didn’t want this to happen and our children just feel like their whole lives are out of control. Let’s give them as many opportunities as they can to have some control and some say in things. And that’s lovely.

Trey Ishee:                               [08:18]                       But you are mistakenly putting that child in a position that they have to say Christmas morning, where do you want to be Christmas morning? Well, now I either have to pick Mom or I have to pick Dad. I can’t be in two places on Christmas morning. Who am I going to pick? And that’s being … Now I’ve got to make a choice over not choosing one. Choosing one is one thing but that means not choosing one and it just puts them in a bind and then, there’s often an emotional reaction to that and the parents are why are you being so difficult? I just asked you a simple question. And they can’t see through that oh my gosh, you’ve put me in this place where I have to pick …

Leigh Sellers:                         [08:53]                       That’s a choice.

Trey Ishee:                               [08:54]                       … one parent over the other. And it really is very well intended most of the time. They don’t see that they’re doing this. So I am a big fan of in those sorts of things, those decisions get made for them.

Leigh Sellers:                         [09:04]                       Right.

Trey Ishee:                               [09:06]                       Right up through 17. I wouldn’t even ask a 16 year old to pick which parent they’re going to be with on Christmas morning. Let’s just go ahead and make those decisions for them and the grown ups need to decide that. And you make those decisions as neutrally as you can. It’s based on a schedule. It’s based on some kind of logic that has nothing to do that values anybody picking anybody over anybody. But I see that happen a lot and they’re completely unaware of the bad position they’re putting their kids in.

Leigh Sellers:                         [09:33]                       Well, and I know from my perspective, I see it go even further where they come in and tell me that they asked the child where they wanted to live or what schedule they wanted. It’s not just Christmas morning. It’s like where do you want to live?

Trey Ishee:                               [09:48]                       And that’s one of the roles that I can play at times is I can ask that questions, right? You tell me what you want and then I’ll work this out with your parents. Sometimes I’m saying to the kid, no one’s going to know what you told me. This is just a discussion that you and I have and then I go and make my suggestions and recommendations but if you want to be with Mom more than Dad, go ahead and tell me. You don’t need to tell them that. And then, I’ll work with the parents and I don’t always … I’ll often not disclose that to the parents exactly what the child said. I’ll nuance it and I’ll work with it but I am trying to honor the child’s wishes but without putting them in that position.

Leigh Sellers:                         [10:30]                       And I know sometimes, and you can correct me and I’ll stop saying it, but if a parent comes in and tells me my child said they wanted 50/50, that they want to be with Mom and Dad equally, I know I’ll often respond well, that could be an honest answer and they could sincerely feel that way but it’s also possible that that’s a very diplomatic way to say please dear God, do not put me in the middle of this. I’m not going to choose between the two of you. And I said I really don’t know whether it’s true or not and frankly, that’s not going to be the inquiry because the code doesn’t say let’s ask the child where they want to be. But correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that just a way of saying I’m not going to pick.

Trey Ishee:                               [11:14]                       I think for a lot of kids, yeah. I mean, certainly there’s some portion of kids that that’s sincere and that they want to see each parent. But yeah, I think you’re absolutely right that there’s going to be a goodly portion of those statements that is just a leave me out of it. I’m just going to be Switzerland on this. And I don’t want to be asked to make any of those hard choices.

Leigh Sellers:                         [11:37]                       People will come in and ask me sometimes at what age does a child get to choose. And of course, they’re asking me legally and I can give them the legal answer, but really is there an age where you think that is an appropriate inquiry to seek their input developmentally, I guess, would be?

Trey Ishee:                               [11:54]                       I think any age … I can’t think of a bottom. I think kids, if they’re verbal and relational and logical can articulate that. I can’t think of an age where I, in my work, would back away from that question. I’m willing to hear the kid at whatever age and I am surprised, pleasantly surprised, at the very mature decisions that kids make or the very mature requests that they make, how frequently a teen who is at that age of being able to make some decisions for him or herself will choose the more stable parent, will choose the responsible parent over the play parent. They just have a really good sense of what’s best for them and a lot of times, they get to that age and they’re asked that question and they will then choose the responsible parent. I had one 16 year old who chose the fun parent and about six months later he called his dad and he said I think I need to come back. I’m having too much fun.

Leigh Sellers:                         [13:02]                       It’s tough but it does put them in a really bad place when it’s the parent asking the question. It’s one thing to speak to a trusted counselor and really lay it out there and know that there’s no ramifications for speaking your mind. But it does make it tough if the parents ask.

Leigh Sellers:                         [13:19]                       What are some other things that you feel parents that care should know to steer clear of?

Trey Ishee:                               [13:26]                       So my next one is I have a lot of parents in the divorcing process who spend a lot of time assuming the intent of the other’s behavior. And it’s just a mess. It just doesn’t go well. You’ve heard it way more than I have. He did this because and then off they go into the big cause without having spoken with the other person. And it’s hard enough to understand the intent of someone’s behavior when you’re living together, but then you’ve got all this distance between you and people between you, and when you start making assumptions of why somebody did what they did and then you start acting on the assumption as if it’s true, in most likelihood it’s not true, but then whatever you do following from that is ill-guided. I don’t know if that’s an oversimplified term but not assuming the intent of the other parent’s behavior.

Trey Ishee:                               [14:25]                       And when I have parents in my office and they start down that path, I put the breaks on and say wait, wait, wait, wait. We’re not doing that. Here’s what he did and we don’t need to worry about why he did it or what he meant by that or how he’s trying to affect your life in some kind of way.

Leigh Sellers:                         [14:43]                       So it’s like trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, or at least try to ascribe no motive at all, is more successful.

Trey Ishee:                               [14:52]                       Right. Yeah. Just don’t go down that rabbit hole. Just do not think about why somebody did what they did.

Leigh Sellers:                         [14:58]                       It is what it is.

Trey Ishee:                               [14:58]                       It is what it is.

Leigh Sellers:                         [14:59]                       What else do you see that you think bares pointing out?

Trey Ishee:                               [15:04]                       I hear a lot of parents talking about wanting to decrease communication and I understand that and I’ve had multiple times I’ve had parents say my therapist is saying I should communicate with him less. To which I will say I bet your therapist is right but that’s what’s best for you. But what’s best for this situation and what’s best for your children is for you to communicate more. And I know that’s really difficult and really painful but you have to be clear about what you’re communicating with and this will go into my next point but that idea that communicating less is the right thing is usually the wrong thing. You need to communicate a lot because … and let your children know that you’re communicating … because that lack of communication opens the door to kids getting slippery sometimes and finding the cracks. And you’d almost be disappointed with them if they didn’t.

Leigh Sellers:                         [15:58]                       Oh yeah.

Trey Ishee:                               [15:59]                       So having your children have the sense that you’re communicating a lot even … I would prefer that your children have the sense that you’re communicating more than you are. So being very public about your communication. I’m calling your father. I just talked to your mother. Well, I’ll call your dad and check on that. And letting them know that you’re communicating I think is really important and I completely understand the wanting to draw back from communication but it really is important to communicate a lot.

Trey Ishee:                               [16:31]                       One way that you can accomplish that is to have a format, a time during the week when you’re going to communicate so that you can … when the thing comes up that your child says Mom fed me ice cream for breakfast, right? And you want to pick up the phone right away and why are you feeding him ice cream for breakfast? That you get to put that in your back pocket and say okay, that’s something that I want to talk with him on Friday, whenever is your regular meeting time. Saturday morning at Starbucks. Wherever it is.

Trey Ishee:                               [17:06]                       But having a consistent opportunity where you can make your list and say okay, here’s what she told me. Here’s what he said. Is this true? What should we do about these … That’s a great time to go over schedules and that sort of thing just so that you know that you have this opportunity and you don’t have to feel desperate or excited in a moment on Tuesday, I’ve got to get this resolved right now. This will wait until Saturday and we’ll get this figured out on Saturday. And you can also communicate that to your kids. Remember, Dad and I are going to meet on Saturday and talk about things so make sure that you’re telling me the truth about this lacrosse stick or whatever it is.

Trey Ishee:                               [17:46]                       So having regular communication as well as upping the volume of communication and not just retreating away from communication. I do like communicating better by phone because the email stuff can, we all know this, can be particularly when the temperature is what it is between these two people, every email is read in this hostile, antagonized way when that may not have been the intent at all of the communication. So it’s even more important when things are hot to be communicating verbally so that you can hear what the other person is saying more accurately.

Leigh Sellers:                         [18:25]                       The context. I always say humor and sarcasm do not convey well.

Trey Ishee:                               [18:30]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [18:30]                       And they’re going well, I was just being funny and I’m like well, I can’t hear you laughing on this one. So it’s hard to go. What are some of the … because I think that’s great advice and I know lots of us that work with parents who are divorcing would say look, just … It’s not about agreeing. It’s not about trying to reach a joint decision even. It’s just literally a stream of communication. Just keep letting them know what’s happening at your house and listen, without judgment, about what’s going on at their so that you can keep the communication open. But for people that find it resistant or don’t even understand the importance, can you give some examples of what ends up happening for the child when the parents are not communicating, when there literally is nothing, and they’re only depending … the child just goes into this black hole when they go to this other house and it’s just that cone of silence? What kind of impact does that have on the kids?

Trey Ishee:                               [19:29]                       It has a lot of impact on their functioning. I don’t think it has that much impact when parents aren’t communicating on them emotionally. But I think it has a lot of impact on their functional level, their academics, even their social functioning. Because the parents aren’t communicating then something is happening in Mom’s neighborhood when I’m at Dad’s house and I can’t be a part of it and because we’re not or my activities outside of school are being affected because Mom and Dad aren’t communication and Dad’s not taking me to the things that Mom signed me up for because he doesn’t even know about them.

Trey Ishee:                               [20:05]                       And so, I think when parents aren’t communicating like that, it hits a kid at a functional level or at a behavioral level. I think that’s just … You’re opening the door for misbehavior and manipulation and all of that. So I don’t think that’s one of the things that hurts them at the emotional level or the relationship level but functionally, behaviorally, that’s the problem with not communicating.

Leigh Sellers:                         [20:32]                       It can put more of a burden on them, can’t it? Because then they have to be responsible for what’s going on in their lives at both houses and can’t really trust anybody to pick up the slack.

Trey Ishee:                               [20:42]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [20:43]                       If the parents aren’t telling the other one, then it really puts more of a burden on them.

Trey Ishee:                               [20:47]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [20:47]                       I think it’s something that we certainly encourage. I wish more parents would do it. What else would be something that you would like to …

Trey Ishee:                               [20:55]                       So my next one would be what I see parents not doing well is redefining their relationship. When you get divorced, the other parent’s social life is no longer your responsibility. Their financial life is no longer your responsibility. Their domestic life is no longer your responsibility. Their work life is no longer your responsibility. But I see parents seeing in those parts of the relationships with each other. Your relationship needs to be distilled down to one thing. We are co-parents. Right?

Trey Ishee:                               [21:27]                       And every other … It’s the weirdest relationship you will ever have because in every other relationship that you had in your whole life, when it didn’t go well, you just walked away. Here’s your Bon Jovi records and see you later. But you don’t get to walk away from this one. You’re stuck as parents of children for the rest of your lives. And you’re stuck together that way. But that’s all you are are parents. And the other parent’s life is no longer your responsibility. And this is where it does … When parents don’t do this well and they’re getting into each other’s business and complaining or being critical, I think that’s where it does affect the kid emotionally to see their parents being hostile. And it’s also confusing.

Trey Ishee:                               [22:14]                       Because I’ve had the kids … It’s amazing just how many times I’ve had kids say the sensible thing. The kid walks into my office and says my dad is saying so many things about my mother’s social life. Why is he talking about my mother’s social life? Number one, why does he care? But why would he comment on my mother’s social life? And I think that’s where there’s that emotional turmoil starts showing up for kids when their parents just have not figured out what is our relationship anymore? And I know that’s confusing and I know it’s mind blowing particularly if they’ve been married for a long time but it really has to be done and it has to be done very, very clearly and very purposefully, and there need to be boundaries.

Trey Ishee:                               [22:59]                       I had a mom recently who found out that her soon to be ex-husband had gotten really, really sick. And she’s very much a nurturer and a caregiver. Now he was not allowed to come into her home but she then made him soup and all this stuff and brought it to his house. Well, that’s a boundary. His health and wellbeing is not your responsibility. If he’s lying out on the street and bleeding from the head then I get that but he just had the flu and I get that that was very well intended but she had this really strong boundary about you can’t come into my house. Well, you just let yourself into his. And that’s the problem with a boundary is when it breaks down in one direction, well then it’s wide open for the other. She had not really come to the full understanding of what her relationship with him was. Yeah, he’s sick but that is not your responsibility.

Leigh Sellers:                         [23:52]                       And the children need for the parents to redefine their relationship and to know what it is because it’s not something that they want to be bothered with.

Trey Ishee:                               [24:00]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [24:01]                       They don’t want to have to navigate that. It’s confusing enough. They just want to focus on their relationship with the other parent.

Trey Ishee:                               [24:06]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [24:07]                       I had a child I was the guardian ad litem for one time and it was like they were just complaining that their parents still only talked about each other and they were like I just want them to talk to me. Maybe they should just get together and do visitation instead of me because I’m tired of every time I go over there I’ve got to listen to stuff about Mom and when I’m over here I’ve got to listen to stuff about Dad.

Trey Ishee:                               [24:30]                       That’s the perfect segue way into my number one mistake that divorcing parents make …

Leigh Sellers:                         [24:36]                       That would be …

Trey Ishee:                               [24:38]                       Ding, ding, ding, ding … Speaking poorly about the other parent. It is just such a huge mistake. I don’t care who you are, if you’re talking bad about my mom, you’re just a dude talking bad about my mom and on some level, you stop being my dad. You’re just a dude talking bad about my mom or just a woman talking poorly about my father. Parents do it for two kind of polarized reasons. One reason that parents do that, speak negatively, about the other parent is when they feel a close alignment with the child and they’re trying to strengthen, inflate that, and so I feel very aligned with this child so I can speak poorly about her mother.

Trey Ishee:                               [25:22]                       Or the other reason that a parent would do that is when they don’t feel aligned with the child and they’re trying to create an alliance of teaming up. Yeah, let me tell you all the bad things about your father so that we can be more aligned. And it’s just a mistake. That’s not how you create alignment. And again, this idea of fast forward and look back. When we talk to 20 and 30 and 40 somethings about their parents getting divorced, if they spoke poorly of each other, we hear about it. It is never a plus. It is never a positive. It is never a win. It may feel … I can only imagine how upset you are with the person that you’re divorcing and I can completely get that and the grand satisfaction that you must derive in that moment from saying let me tell you what he did. Or let me tell you how she behaved. And it’s just not a winner.

Trey Ishee:                               [26:19]                       It’s just not … It will cost you. It will cost you in your relationship with your child. No matter how good that feels in that moment, no matter how justified it seems, or maybe even is. If you broke some of those things down and said yeah, that’s completely … That’s a true statement. That’s legitimate. That’s why this or that happened. It’s completely irrelevant. And that’s how parents defend it to me. They say that’s true. He really did that. To which I say I know but that’s not what your child needs to hear from you.

Leigh Sellers:                         [26:51]                       Yeah. They have a right to know why their home is being broken up.

Trey Ishee:                               [26:55]                       Right. And wait a minute, on whole other level, why are the rules changing? You would have never discussed your finances with your 12 year old before this divorce. Why now? The rule can’t change in those kind of boundaries and what’s appropriate just because you got divorced and the bigger point is you’re now speaking poorly of your father and it’s just not going to win you any points. It feels good at the moment. It feels justified. I get it. But it’s a mistake.

Leigh Sellers:                         [27:27]                       I had a situation one time that I thought was kind of illustrative of some of the … This was an extreme case, of course. But what happened is that the children would start complaining about one parent and they would complain about it to the other parent. And then, it would get so bad that they would move in with that parent. They would stop the contact with the other parent. And then, it would flip the other way. So then, they would start complaining about that parent and then the other parent would be like you poor baby. And then, they move back there to the exclusion of the other parent. And it literally flip-flopped four times as they just both beat each other up.

Leigh Sellers:                         [28:12]                       And it was the most horrifying thing to witness over a six year period of just this constantly calling me to modify the custody order because now this kid wasn’t going to go to this parent’s house. And it just kept happening. And it was so surreal to realize that they absolutely didn’t see the hand that they played in this ping pong game for their children’s lives. And it was just a really sad example of how far the aligning yourself with negative energy that a child has and jumping on it when one child is maybe upset with the decision that the other parent made and taking that as the opportunity to be like see, I was right. You know? You agree they’re a terrible person.

Trey Ishee:                               [28:57]                       Right, yeah.

Leigh Sellers:                         [28:57]                       And it just keeps going.

Trey Ishee:                               [28:59]                       Obviously, I don’t know that case but I can guess that the seeds of that internal family culture were sown by talking bad about each other right from go, you would think.

Leigh Sellers:                         [29:12]                       Exactly. And I know that that’s an extreme example but …

Trey Ishee:                               [29:15]                       I don’t know that that’s … I think that that happens …

Leigh Sellers:                         [29:19]                       More than we think.

Trey Ishee:                               [29:19]                       Yeah, yeah.

Leigh Sellers:                         [29:21]                       I used to caution clients sometimes when they be getting into that. I would say be careful because it’s going to come back around.

Trey Ishee:                               [29:28]                       Yeah.

Leigh Sellers:                         [29:29]                       If they can’t respect either parent, then they’re really going to be completely undisciplined. If you’ve basically run the other one down to where they don’t need to listen to that parent, don’t need to respect that parent, and then, they’re doing the same thing to you, basically what you have is a child of a certain age who basically doesn’t respect adults or certainly doesn’t respect the people who are supposed to be taking care of him.

Trey Ishee:                               [29:49]                       Right. You’ve just handed him this loaded gun to do with as they wish.

Leigh Sellers:                         [29:55]                       I know. It’s so fraught with anxiety and it’s so emotional at the time. And I know when you’re not going through it, it’s easy to set up the rules and say to do better. But it’s not that complicated either if people really think about it and just exercise some self-restraint. And their kids are going to be so much better for it.

Trey Ishee:                               [30:13]                       Right.

Leigh Sellers:                         [30:14]                       If people want to follow up with you or perhaps think that you might be able to have some personal coaching sessions with them or with their children, I’ve told everybody where you work, but where would they find you?

Trey Ishee:                               [30:25]                       We’re easy to find on the web, southeastpsych.com. And our office number is 704-552-0116.

Leigh Sellers:                         [30:34]                       And you have offices …

Trey Ishee:                               [30:36]                       In Southpark, in Ballantyne, in Tennessee, and in New Zealand.

Leigh Sellers:                         [30:43]                       New Zealand.

Trey Ishee:                               [30:44]                       Yes.

Leigh Sellers:                         [30:45]                       Well, if this podcast gets to New Zealand, I want you to let me know if that’s where people hear from you and they say yes, I heard this podcast.

Trey Ishee:                               [30:52]                       We had one of our folks whose husband is a physician and he went over on a swap and they stayed. So she is now opening Southeast Psych New Zealand.

Leigh Sellers:                         [31:03]                       Well, that is going to be an interesting addition to your website.

Trey Ishee:                               [31:05]                       We’re going international.

Leigh Sellers:                         [31:07]                       Well, we appreciate you coming and we hope that you’ll come back because I think there’s so much more that we can explore about this topic.

Trey Ishee:                               [31:13]                       I would love to.

Leigh Sellers:                         [31:13]                       For parents that want to be great parents during this time.

Trey Ishee:                               [31:17]                       Good, good.

Leigh Sellers:                         [31:17]                       Thanks again.

Leigh Sellers:                         [31:19]                       So there you have it. Another neighborhood of Splitsville explored. There’s still so much to learn here. So I hope you’ll tune into the next episode. While Splitsville is not a fun place to be, thankfully it is full of helpful people, valuable resources, and sound advice if you know where to look. See you next time.

Announcer:                            [31:43]                       The insights and views presented in Welcome to Splitsville are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation nor does tuning into this podcast constitute and attorney/client relationship of any kind.

Announcer:                            [31:56]                       If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at touchstonefamilylaw.com.

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