When a married couple makes the decision to get a divorce, it is hard on the entire family. Although it is not the fault of the children, they are often put through emotional distress that can have a lasting impact. A family lawyer can provide useful resources to parents who are getting divorced. For couples who have decided to separate, here are the 6 most effective ways to keep a positive relationship with children during a divorce.
1. Never Talk About Your Ex Negatively to Your Children
Unless it is positive, parents should not discuss one another with their children under any circumstances. It is natural for couples going through a divorce to have anger with one another, and it is normal for individuals to vent their anger. However, children should never be an outlet for couples to release frustration. There are also individuals who intentionally discuss their ex-spouse with their children in hopes to damage their relationship, which will only have negative consequences for the children. You may be able to find more information at Matrimonial Home.
2. Plan and Maintain a Visitation Schedule
Divorce can be confusing for children, so it is imperative that parents plan and maintain a visitation schedule. Parents should set problems aside and develop a visitation schedule together, which will allow their children stability during a difficult time. However, it is also important that parents maintain visitation schedules. If children are expecting to spend time with their parent on a certain day, and the parent cancels, it can cause children to feel emotional distress and blame. If issues arise where parents are not able to come to an agreement on visitation schedules, such as when both parents want the children on the weekends, parents should try to alternate weekends or come to an agreement for the sake of the children. When parents work together to plan and maintain a visitation schedule, it lets their children know their parents will still be in their lives.
3. Reinforce That it is Not Their Fault
Many children automatically lay blame on themselves when they learn their parents are getting divorced, which is a natural response. Young children do not have the cognitive ability to fully understand a divorce, so parents need to explain to their children they have nothing to do with their parents separating.
4. Tell Them You Will Always Love Them
It is important for parents to continuously express their love for their children during a divorce. There are a wide range of feelings children may have about divorce, which may include their parents will not love them anymore. It is understandable that a child could think, “If mom doesn’t love dad anymore, then how can she still love me?” Although it is not always possible, parents can talk with their children together and explain the love they have for their children will never change.
5. Communicate With Your Ex
The purpose of a divorce is so couples do not have to communicate and coexist with each other anymore, but divorced individuals with children will always be bound to each other. Although it may seem easy to have children relay messages from one parent to another, it is not healthy for children and should never happen. It is not children’s responsibility to act as a mediator on behalf of their parents.
6. Let Them Speak Freely
If children know they can speak freely with their parents, it can eliminate any confusion about the situation. Parents should also tell their children they are allowed to express frustration about what is happening, and parents should be sure their children know it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. If children are given the opportunity to talk about their feelings, it can make it easier for children to accept the situation.
Children are not to blame for divorce, and parents should always tell their children it is not their fault. Divorce is a life-changing experience for everyone involved, and children need to be provided with a positive, safe, and loving environment from both parents.