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As far as she's concerned, im the worst person in the world now. And I can only imagine some of the things she is telling my children about me.
How do I treat this behaviour when It happens again.
It upset me greatly knowing what she could be telling the children to turn against me and act like this.
See the highlighted words. There are a dozen other reasons your son could be acting up, and divorce is pretty traumatic on kids period. You see it sooner in the younger ones than the older ones, but thankfully the younger ones can recover from it quicker than the older ones do. (In my experience anyway.)
Unless you know for a fact she is trash talking you to your kids, you are going on assumptions. Grilling the kids about what is said isn't usually a good thing either, nor is it terribly effective. What it does is put one the kid in the position of having to pick loyalties between one parent, and another parent. You may not even get honest answers from it, simply because the child wants to please the parent they are with ... 6 year old kids aren't great liars, but they are still smart enough to pick up on those type of cues to tell you what you want (or they think you want) to hear.
My advice is to take the higher road unless you get confirmation of trash talking. If you do, and its a constant problem, or worse outright parental alienation such as "Daddy doesn't love you" type thing, the next step would be talking with your ex. If its going on, document it as best as you can, and try to get it in the order of divorce/separation that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and have her sign off on it. If you are post divorce, many states offer mediation for free for exactly this type of issue. Its free, and though you can't use whats said in a courtroom it shows you take the issue seriously, and usually enough to get them to at least consider the possibility you might be willing to go all of the way with other actions should it continue. If you come to an agreement, great, it gets rubber stamped with a judge at the end of it, and added to the parenting plan. If you don't, it still puts them on notice.
As far as the discipline of your kid, you need to lay out that you are their parent, and they will treat you, and other adults with respect.
"I will always love you, but I don't have to always like you. If you act inappropriately, I will have to, as your father, provide appropriate consequences, as it is my job as your father to help you grow up into a happy, effective adult. Knowing rules and consequences is part of that life I'm preparing you for. But here's a hint: The more you do follow the rules, the less time I'll have to be handing out consequences and the less time you'll have to be enduring them. Then we'll both be happy."
Children at the pre-school stage are developing a whole host of new skills, including: wanting more independence; asserting their wants; and learning about friendship. One of the best things you can do when parenting a three-year-old is to support your child in attaining these new skills without allowing them to become demanding or spoiled. To ensure you don't fall into unhealthy habits that promote power struggles, choose to use a firm--but kind--approach and look for ways that your child can learn from each situation.
Fire Yourself as Boss of the Household! Many parents buy into the belief that mom should be the boss of the household and be in control. Yet, we must remember that we are modeling for our children how to act every single minute of the day. Our kids learn more from what we do than from what we say. If they see us pulling rank as "boss", they will attempt to be "boss" too. Unfortunately, when this happens, they may outrank us and the real power struggles will begin!
Stay Firm but Kind. If they fight, you follow-through. Do this without yelling, scolding or punishing. Don't buy into their tears, and definitely don't get into a debate. Stay firm, but stay kind. Tell them that when they want a hug, to come find you. I know keeping your cool is easier said than done.
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His mother may not be telling him anything. Kids tend to go through periods of behaving like this, even without divorce. Add in the confusion and scariness of Mom and Dad breaking up and going back and forth between houses, understanding absolutely nothing that's going on, and it's even more understandable that he'd act out.
That doesn't mean he should get away with it. Stick to your guns, and dole out consequences when he misbehaves. Each time you have to punish him, remind him afterward that it's his behavior that causes him to be in trouble and that if behaves properly, he doesn't get punished. You can't give in because you want to be the "good" or "nice" parent. You need to be the same dad you were before the break up. That consistency will help get his behavior back in line.
Don't imagine what Mom might be telling him. If you really believe that this behavior is being caused by something Mom is saying, then confront Mom when he's not around and ask her what's going on. Ask her to please not drag your child into the mess between the two of you. It's not fair to the child. But blaming Mom for imagined statements isn't going to help; it's only going to frustrate you, which will make you react more negatively to her, which will only make matters worse.