The way that adults manage their relationships can have a significant impact on children. During a divorce, it is common for parents to act (often unintentionally) in a way that can negatively impact the children. Outlined below are five methods that can potentially make the divorce transition easier on children.
Don’t belittle the other parent
From a young age, children are aware that they are both a part of their mother and father. Therefore, when one parent speaks badly about the other, there is a risk that the child may internalize these negative comments. This could result in an enhanced anxiety or a heightened sense of self-doubt in the child.
Research suggests that one parent speaking positively about the other can reduce the overall conflict during a divorce.
Don’t let children know the cost of your divorce
It is of no benefit for children to know how much money is involved in a divorce settlement. Parents often confide in their children, but it is important to remember that they are just children. Adult friends or third-party professionals are much better equipped to listen to concerns over child support and the like.
Don’t make the child take sides
A child’s instinct is to want to please both parents. Therefore, being forced to decide between them can be the root of much anxiety. With whom a child should primarily live, or with whom they go on holiday should be a matter of discussion between parents.
Be sensitive when introducing a new partner
The needs of an adult and child will rarely converge when it comes to introducing a new partner. The child will have recently experienced the breakup of one adult partnership. Therefore, it is important that new partners are only introduced if the relationship is serious.
Take care of yourself
Parents are often so focused on the welfare of children, that they neglect their own needs. Not taking care of yourself can inhibit your ability to take care of a child. Thus, it is important to reach out for help if you need it.
Children benefit from supportive and emotionally stable parents. Importantly, parents do not necessarily have to be married to provide this.