This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.
Divorce is hard, no matter who you are. However, there’s no denying it becomes considerably harder when you have children to consider in the relationship. If you don’t manage how you handle your children and communicate with them during this period, not only can you damage your relationship with them permanently, but you can even end up losing them. Here are some mistakes no parent should make when it comes to their kids. Before you take off your gold rings, here are some things to consider.
Pretending nothing has changed
If you try to live your everyday family life, but with one person very much absent, it can do a lot more damage than good. Your children are going to have trouble expressing their emotions to do with the family, so they need help finding a healthy outlet for them, rather than an attempt to paper over them. Talk to your children, let them know that their emotions are valid and important, and help them try to put a label to them. Though it’s tempting to try and soothe any pain they’re feeling, it’s healthier in the long run to help them process it, instead. Make sure they know they’re still loved and welcomed by surrounding them with family, too.
Trying to handle the legal battle yourself
When it comes to mediation, you may not find it necessary to drag the divorce to court and might be able to find a way to work things with your spouse. However, when it comes to how child custody is determined, it’s always wise to make sure you have legal expertise on your side. For instance, they can help you determine and work towards a goal that works for everyone, be it joint or sole physical custody, split custody, or another arrangement of legal custody. If you don’t know how child custody works, you should always leave it to the professionals.
Involving them in the argument
You are there to help your children deal with their emotions, but don’t expect the same from them. You’re in an adult disagreement, and children have no place in it. As such, you should avoid doing anything to damage their relationship with the other parent, whether it’s trying to get them to pick sides or portraying them in a bad light. Sometimes, you might not even notice that you’re trying to win your own child over, so you have to be cognizant of that risk.
Avoiding compromise with your ex
Not every relationship is going to end on good terms and it’s not always fair to suggest that you owe your ex a painless divorce. However, when kids are involved, it’s almost always the better solution. If you want their other parent to still be a part of their life, negotiation and give and take are going to have to become your main aims. Learning how to compromise with them will be key.
The above tips can avoid you making the divorce much, much harder for your children, but they’re going to need more care and attention going forward, too. Don’t let them slip from your mind, even when you’re in the thick of it.