Child Parenting Advice On Divorce and Children
Bringing with it a mixture of feelings including anger, betrayal, confusion and uncertainty, there cannot be many things in life as traumatic as divorce. Divorce is a time of both high emotion and considerable change as living conditions are altered, incomes are affected and normal routines are upset.
Divorce is frequently a painful process, but it is vital that the interests of any children are protected throughout and there are a number of things that parents can do to smooth the path for the children through a divorce.
Anger between the parents is common during a divorce and it's never a good idea to pretend that such anger doesn't exist for the sake of the children. The children will be only too aware of the tension and you merely insult their intelligence if you try to pretend that it doesn't exist. Having said this, it is the way in which you handle your anger that is critically important for the children.
The children need to understand that you are angry with each other and not with them and to understand that they are not the cause of your anger. Children will frequently believe that they have caused the problem between you and your spouse in some way and you need to tell them that this is not the case.
With high emotions it is all too easy to allow your anger to spill over onto the children and you might even find that you are starting to draw the children into arguments between you and your spouse. You might even be tempted to employ the children as bargaining chips or to use them to exact some form of revenge. You should avoid this at all costs.
Whether you arguments are about living arrangements, money, custody or anything else, you should work through these problems with your spouse alone and keep them away from the children.
However, as long as the children are old enough, their views need to be taken into account during any discussion between you and your spouse. It can be very helpful to find out what the children what they would like to happen and, while in most cases their initial answer will be that they don't want you to divorce at all, you'll often find that they can be surprisingly realistic and know very well that, whatever they want, this isn't going to happen.
Giving your children the opportunity to express their feeling and providing them with some control over events can be helpful for the children and can also assist you in making decisions which are not going to create further problems at a later date.
Feelings of anger and hostility are not confined to you and your spouse during a divorce and your children will also experience a range of negative feelings including anger and often disappointment. You need to recognize these feelings and to provide an outlet for them. Children need to be allowed to express their feelings and you need to give them a sympathetic ear and assist them in working their way through their emotions.
When your daughter tell you that she hates you it's very easy to brush this off with a reply such as "you don't really mean that", but is this helpful? At that moment she probably does indeed feel that she hates you and, having expressed her feelings, she now needs your help so that she can understand just why she feels this way and find a way to resolve the issue.
There are a host of practical issues that have to be sorted out during a divorce and parents often focus their attention on these as being of particular importance for the wellbeing of the children. Children however are extremely adaptable and resilient and it is rarely the decisions you reach about the practical problems of life that cause difficulties in the longer term. The way in which you resolve the many issues to be addresses however will affect the outcome.
Whatever problems you are having with your spouse, they must stay between the two of you and need to be resolved out of the sight of the children or, if you cannot resolve them, they should be put to one side.
Remember that, even if you can no longer live together as a married couple, you have to retain at least a working relationship as parents and have to find a way for both you and your former spouse to fulfill your roles as parents and give your children the support and love they need.
Recommended books from
[CaRP] XML error: syntax error at line 1 -
Alternatives to a Contested Divorce - Patch.com
13 Feb 2012 at 12:00pm
Alternatives to a Contested Divorce
Some divorce attorneys (but honestly not most) actually encourage conflict to make sure the billable hours remain. I am a divorced father of two wonderful children. Believe it or not, my ex-wife and I st...
Letter: Children no longer greatest asset - Fond du Lac Reporter
13 Feb 2012 at 4:28am
Letter: Children no longer greatest asset
Fond du Lac Reporter
Abortion, the unthinkable divorce of a mother from her child, sees pregnancy not as a gift, but rather, as a burden. This attitude allows that children are not our greatest resource, but...
Faison's messy divorce - Politico (blog)
13 Feb 2012 at 9:08am
Faison's messy divorce
Bill Faison has had his eye on the North Carolina governor's mansion for months, but a devastating story in the News & Observer about his divorce includes the sordid details that show why he's considered a nomi...
Domestic Abusers May Seek Control through Child Custody - JD Supra (press rel...
13 Feb 2012 at 11:19am
Domestic Abusers May Seek Control through Child Custody
JD Supra (press release)
The ending of relationships, whether through divorce or other means of separation should present an opportunity to move on for both the couples and the children involve...