The Do’s and Dont’s of Divorce for Parents

» Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

The Do’s and Dont’s of Divorce for Parents

While divorce is extremely hard for the spouses that are going through it, it is usually even more difficult for their children. Not only are they dealing with a huge shift in their life, but they are often burdened by feelings of guilt, confusion, and anger. Although no one ever goes into a marriage planning on a divorce, it is important to remember that if a divorce is inevitable protecting your children should be a top priority.

WHAT NOT TO DO DURING YOUR DIVORCE:

*Do not include your children in the conflict of your divorce. This means don’t fight, argue, or discuss your divorce in front of your kids, or when they can hear you. Also do not criticize the other parent in front of your children. Don’t pit your kids against the other parent, or use your children to deliver messages for you.

*Do not use your children to gather information on your ex-spouse. It’s important to be supportive of your children visiting the other parent, but you shouldn’t be quizzing them about your ex’s every move. Do not interrogate your children about the other parent’s life.

*Do not use your children as leverage. This is a common issue in divorce, and it is one of the most damaging to children. Do not threaten to take time away from the other parent for any unfounded reason, or to get the “upper-hand” in your divorce. That means, don’t base the visitation time on child support amounts, and don’t use your kids as a threat against the other parent. This isn’t fair to your children.

* Do not use your children as a shoulder to cry on. You are the parent and should be providing the support to your children, not the other way around. Although you may find comfort in being around your children, you should never vent to them or burden them with your emotions from the divorce. Doing this undermines your place as their caretaker and your authority as their parent.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO DURING YOUR DIVORCE:

 

*Answer your children’s questions and concerns about the divorce. Be honest with them, without damaging the other parent’s image. Let the children know what the divorce means for your family, but don’t include the nasty details of what led to it.

*Always reassure your children. Divorce is scary for children, so it’s important that you focus on making your children feel safe and loved during this time. Make sure that your children know that they are loved by both parents and that the divorce is in no way their fault.

*Keep your schedules and routines. Don’t let your divorce interrupt your children’s extracurricular activities or interests. Also make sure that you are upholding rules that you have always had. Don’t try to be the “favorite” by allowing them to do what they want.

*Stay strong and respectful throughout your divorce. Your children will mirror what they see you do during your divorce. It’s a new experience to them, and they get their cues on how to handle it from you their parent. Be as happy and positive as possible during and after your divorce. Showing resilience and strength will show your children the right way to handle issues in their life.

If your family is going through a divorce, family counseling is often a great resource. If you feel that you would benefit from a session with our therapists, call or click today to set an appointment. Our caring staff is here to support you and your family during this difficult time.

Image by David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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