Divorce is an unpleasant process that couples must endure in order to end their marriage and move forward with their lives. During this process, your children will also bear witness to this life-changing event. While emotions and stress are enviable, you can learn to keep the children in an emotionally secure place throughout this process.
When the divorce becomes heated and difficult, you must keep in mind your children are observing all of your behaviors. How you conduct yourself now will teach them how they should behave during challenging times in their lives.
Your children can learn to become a victim always blaming others, or they can learn to lead with kindness, dignity, and respect. As parents, you must chart the waters for both yourself and your children’s future.
Start by putting your children’s emotional wellbeing before your pain. Do not involve them in your hurt, confusion or distress; it’s your pain, not your children’s. Below is a list of “Don’ts” that can help you give your children an emotionally secure divorce.
- Don’t make your children feel guilty for loving both parents; this is a good thing.
- Don’t ask your children to choose sides; they can love you both.
- Don’t allow your children to become the go-between for you and your spouse’s conversations. They are just children, treat them as such.
- Don’t provide your children with details of the legal battles going on between the two parents. They do not need the emotion tied to your legal battle.
- Don’t slander the other parent’s character with unkind and insulting words. It’s their parents, let them be unbiased!
- Don’t ask them questions when they return from a visit with the other parent. Give them their privacy and respect their time alone with the parent.
Do allow your children to express the feelings they wish to express. And allow them to keep the ones they do not wish to share.
Providing your children with an emotionally secure divorce is a gift only you and your spouse can bestow upon them. By providing children with role models that behave with respect and dignity, you will be helping them deal with their future life struggles in the same manner.