When parents are in the middle of getting divorced, it is easy for them to lose focus on their children’s needs while they are looking after themselves. Children can suffer many negative consequences as a result of divorce if they do not receive the attention and care they need. In order to combat these consequences, here are five things parents can do to protect their children after divorce:
Avoid insulting the other parent
Children often see themselves as half of each of their parents. This means that when someone insults one of their parents, they often take that insult personally. When an insult towards a parent can also hurt the child, it is best not to say anything negative.
Promote contact with your former spouse
Children deserve every advantage they can get in receiving the care and nurture they need while growing up. If a child has the opportunity to have both parents in their life, they should take advantage of it. Don’t let yourself be the obstacle that keeps your child from seeing each of their parents.
Do not involve your children with your divorce
It may seem convenient to have your child act as a messenger or even report on your former spouse’s activities, but doing so may cause more harm than good. Children often feel guilty for fulfilling these requests, as they can feel as though their actions are betraying their other parent.
Do not make your children take care of you
A divorce can very likely be one of the most challenging times of your life, but that does not mean that your children should be responsible for taking care of your needs emotionally and otherwise. Rely on the help of your friends, family, and professionals to help you, and let your kids just be kids.
Minimize exposure to conflict
Even if you and your spouse cannot get along after your divorce, do not let your children see that. If your children become two conscious about what their parents think of each other, they may feel guilty for wanting to be with you or your former spouse. Keep any conflict behind the curtain so your children can continue to pursue a strong relationship with each of their parents.
Consistency is key
The more effort you put into taking care of your child’s needs after your divorce, the better you prepare them to develop into mature and responsible adults. Remember that your children are also affected by this divorce, and someone needs to look after their needs as well.