Divorce is one of my most traumatic things a person may have to go through in their life. It can, however, be especially traumatic for the children of those separating if it is not ensured that the children are properly taken care of during the divorce proceedings. These tips will help you keep your family together and strong during your separation.
1) Do Not Fight In Front of the Children
Even while going through a divorce, it is still important for parents to appear as a united front to their children. Remember, the divorce is not about your children, therefore they should not be pulled into the heat of the proceedings. It is vitally important that they understand what is happening and why, but neither parent should try to “win” the children by talking negatively about the other parent, nor should any disagreements be disputed around the children, as this can lead children to picking sides, which will hurt their relationship with both parents.
2) Make Sure Your Children Know That the Divorce Is Not Their Fault
Many children suffer trauma during a divorce by taking responsibility for their parents' separation. It is very important to talk with your children openly about why you are getting a divorce, making sure to avoid putting all of the blame on one parent. Assure your children that you both love them very much and that the divorce is your fault, not theirs. As hard as this may be to talk to them about, it is important for them to understand.
3) Hire a Divorce Attorney
One thing that is inevitable during a divorce is figuring out which custody arrangement will work best for your family. It is vital that this be done professionally to avoid “mud-slinging” that could lead your children to picking sides or even thinking that one parent does not want them. Making sure to be as professional and collected as possible during custody hearings is especially important because these are the hearings that your children are mostly likely to be a part of. For their sake and for yours, you should consult a divorce attorney for these proceedings (Source: Blumenauer Hackworth).
4) Do Not Use Your Children Against Your Spouse
One of the most common mistakes a parent can make during a divorce is using their children against their spouse to get what they want. You must remember that your children are not bargaining chips and each of you is necessary for your child to grow up happy and healthy.
5) Make Sure to Spend Time with Your Children
Though it almost seems like a given, make sure that you remember to spend time with your children. Assure them that you love them and that the divorce has nothing to do with them, nor will it cut into their time with you. Make sure each parent gets quality time with your children to ensure that they do not harbor resentment towards either or feel abandoned.
A divorce is hard on both parents and children. If handled correctly, maturely, and responsibly, it is possible for your children to be happy and healthy, regardless of your status with their other parent.