The Most Common Mistakes Divorced Parents Make with Kids
Divorce can be extremely difficult for children simply due to the major lifestyle changes it involves. It can become even more emotionally strenuous when parents fail to consider the emotions and needs of their children in their decision making after the divorce is finalized.
The following a few of the most common mistakes divorced parents make with their kids, and how you can avoid them:
- Making children a go-between. If you and your former spouse do not get along, the last thing you should do is turn your children into messengers for you. You are the adult here — it’s up to you to be mature and communicate with the other parent about issues with your children. If you cannot handle in-person or telephone communication, use email or text messages. But whatever you do, don’t make your kids deliver messages for you.
- Using children as therapists. Never vent your frustrations and anger, or any other issues stemming from your divorce, to your children. They are your kids — not your friends or your therapist. Seek assistance from professionals if necessary, but never blur the parent/child relationship, as it could be emotionally damaging for the both of you.
- Avoiding discipline. Just because you and your children are all in an emotionally vulnerable place doesn’t mean all of your household rules go out the window. Make it clear to your kids that you still expect them to follow your rules and behave at school. If they step out of line, discipline them in the same way you would have before the divorce.
- Not listening to your children. Kids need to feel understood, especially during such a difficult time. Listen to them and let them tell you what they’re feeling. Respond to what they are telling you and let them know you understand why they are upset. You don’t necessarily have to have a solution, but just knowing you understand their problems can make your children feel much better about things.
To help make the divorce process less stressful for you and your loved ones, speak with a knowledgeable Minneapolis family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.