There is no way around it. Divorce is always hard. Of course, if you have children, one of your top priorities is to make sure they suffer as little as possible throughout the whole process. Even though there are many complications involved, their well-being has to be of paramount importance. Here are our 10 tips on what you can do in order to protect your children during divorce:
KEEP THEM AWAY FROM FIGHTING
Even when you think that no one has witnessed the altercation between you and your partner, keep in mind that kids usually find a way to listen in. Find the strength to disagree and debate, not to fight.
DO NOT TURN THEM INTO A MESSENGER
After you have parted from your partner, avoid having your child being a middle man. Do not ask the child questions on what your partner thinks, says, or does. Instead, focus on giving it attention and love. Most importantly, do not ever try to make your child choose sides.
ALWAYS REASSURE THEM
Most of the children at a certain point feel guilty for their parent’s divorce. This is a very common issue. You must make sure to repeat to them as much as you possibly can, that it is not their fault! They still have two parents who love them dearly.
LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD
Parents tend to get caught up in the mindset of always knowing what is best for their kids. Even though in most cases you can be right, try not to lose out of sight what your child is saying to you. Always be attentive while you are conversing, and do not shy away from keeping your communication active.
LET THEM STAY KIDS
One of the natural responses of your child will be to comfort you and take care of you as if it was a grown up. Make sure to let them know you are grateful, but avoid getting tangled up in that script. Lean on your family and friends for emotional support.
DO NOT ISOLATE THEM FROM YOUR EX-SPOUSE
Divorce is not about winning. Encourage your kids to spend time with their other parent as much as possible.
NEVER SPEAK BADLY OF YOUR EX-SPOUSE
Kids identify with both of their parents, and criticizing one of them could lead to a decrease in self-esteem of your child.
DO NOT CHANGE THEIR LIFE
In case it is possible, do not move away to a different city, or the other part of the town you are currently in. Children need stability. Allowing them to remain in the same school, with same friends will help them cope much better.
YOUR KIDS ARE ALWAYS NUMBER ONE
Even though we have mentioned this before, it is of utmost importance to show them love and attention throughout the whole process. As long as you keep their needs at the top of the list, much less harm will be done at the end.
DO NOT FORGET YOU
Among all of that noise, it is very easy to lose track of yourself. Your kids need you to be strong, and to respond to their needs. Counseling should be a viable option.
There are a lot of unhappy marriages out there, and divorce is not uncommon or abnormal. However, not deserting an unhealthy relationship due to having children can have more unwanted repercussions than getting a divorce. Schulte Roth is one of the most reliable law firms on the market. Hiring a compassionate lawyer can help you deal with the whole situation with much more ease.