Going through a divorce is a difficult enough process but adding kids to the mix is a recipe for a very challenging time indeed. I can say this from experience and in truth looking back, things worked out just about as well as I could’ve hoped for. Thankfully my own divorce wasn’t as messy as it is for some, I was greatly helped by the wonderful team at Marrison family law, and the relationship between myself and my ex-partner was nowhere near as broken or vitriolic as many are. Regardless of juts how messy your divorce is, it is essential that you invest plenty of time and energy on making sure that the kids are kept out of it.
The risks of not giving the right amount of attention to your kids as you go through this process is that they blame themselves for what has happened, a common occurrence amongst kids of divorced parents. In older children we often see behavioral issues as well which can include kids going off the rails or allowing themselves to slip behind at school. Manage this well and you can minimize or avoid these issues.
I can’t stress enough how important it is that you maintain a healthy level of dialogue with your kids about what is going on. Naturally you don’t need to reveal every single detail about the breakup of your relationship but you will need to at least help them to understand what is happening and why. Don’t forget that kids are most certainly not stupid and that they will already have a sense of what is going on. It will be up to you however to ensure that the story they have in their mind is an accurate one.
The team at Marrison family law offered me plenty of advice on this subject and one of the first things they spoke about was the importance of not badmouthing the other parent in front of your kids. These feelings should certainly be kept inside as it is up to your children to take the decision as to what they think about each parent. Whatever you may feel about your ex, it is between you and them.
Children Aren’t Pawns
A common occurrence when two people get divorced is that they either knowingly or unknowingly begin to use their kids as pawns, almost weaponizing them to get at the other parent. Not only is this a petty and childish thing to do in the first place, it is also something which is going to have a lasting impact on your kids. Don’t try to buy your kids with emotions or with material items, it will warp their minds and it could have negative impacts on them going forward. Remember that this is between you and your ex, your kids should never be used in this way.
Focus on giving your kids the most normal lifestyle that you can, talk to them and be sure not to bring them into this situation.