In a recent post, we began discussing some of the challenges parents who are going through a divorce face when it comes to talking about an impending divorce with a child. Even in cases where divorcing parents are on relatively civil terms, there are bound to be times when strong emotions and hard feelings cause conflict between even the most civil and well-intended co-parents.
Divorcing parents have a lot on their plates to try to cope with and sort out. For many, concerns related to how a divorce will impact or potentially harm one’s child, is a chief concern. While there’s no way to protect a child from certain realities that accompany divorce, there are steps parents can take to help a child cope with the fact that his or her parents are no longer together and living under the same roof.
Frequently, spouses who are going through a divorce have a difficult time communicating. However, when it comes to divorcing parents, the lines of communication must remain clear, open and free of animosity. While it can be difficult to keep one’s emotions in check, divorcing parents are advised to avoid arguing in front of a child and from talking negatively about the other parent in front of a child.
Parents who make disparaging comments about a soon-to-be ex in front of child or attempt to use a son or daughter as a messenger to avoid communicating with an ex, are doing both themselves and their child a huge disservice. Yes, the divorce process can be emotionally-charged and dealing with an ex can be difficult, but it’s not fair to put a child in the position where he or she is expected to act as a go-between. Avoiding an ex simply isn’t an option as a shared child forever tethers divorced parents together. It’s important, therefore, that divorcing parents keep the focus on a shared child and work to find a way to effectively co-parent.
Source: Kids Health, “Tips for Divorcing Parents,” 2015