When children are involved, making the decision to divorce should be taken seriously, and any agreements made concerning the children should be strictly adhered to. For couples that decide that a divorce will be in the best interest of the entire family, there are some tips that can help ease the impact of divorce on a couple's children.
Tips for the Sake of the Kids
While it may be easy to focus on the dirty details behind a divorce, when kids are involved, parents have an extra layer of responsibility to ensure their physical and emotional well-being throughout the divorce process.
Some tips can be as easy as:
- Children's needs first. Young children may not be able to voice needs and concerns as the divorce process continues. The parent has the responsibility of doing what is in the best interest of the child, including making sure that the child remains the first priority.
- Privately fight. Fighting in front of the children will do nothing but expose them to information they may not need to know and influence their relationship with one parent or the other. If children are around, waiting to fight until the children are gone is helpful.
- Create new relationships. The relationship with your spouse needs to be redefined in the event of a divorce, and the relationship should reflect that. Should both parents agree that they are seeking to remain involved with the children, they must reimagine themselves as co-parents, not ex-spouses.
- Speak highly. Never undermine the actions of one spouse. Children do not need to feel alienated from one parent or resentment towards another. While this may seem like venting in the moment, the damage it can cause is not worth it.
- Communicate. Children should be walked through the divorce process as their age deems appropriate. No child should blame themselves for what is happening or try to feel as though it is their responsibility to fix it.
- Co-parenting. Decisions need to be made jointly for the sake of the children because at the end of the day, both parents have their children's best interest at heart. This also means ensuring that children feel safe and loved in both homes.
Divorce is hard on children, but it can be made less hard. It can be scary and stressful, which makes following the most simple of tips extremely difficult. Keeping the children at the forefront can help maintain a peaceful environment for those involved.