Going through a divorce can be a challenge for everyone involved, including any children you have with your ex-spouse. And while you might think that any problems you’re having with your ex are just between you two, that’s very rarely the case. A child can go through very emotional times related to their parents’ divorce, especially when their parents aren’t careful to keep them protected from their fights. So to ensure your child have the best chance of having a successful childhood despite your divorce, here are three ways you can practice civility in front of your kids during your divorce.
Break The News Together
To get things started on the right foot, it’s vital that you and your spouse break the news of your divorce together with your children. According to Sarah Mahoney, a contributor to Parents.com, it’s best that both parents be present when you talk to your kids about getting divorced, so your kids can still see you as a united front, knowing that you both still love and support them no matter what. Additionally, both parties will be less tempted to say something derogatory to their kids about the other when that person is sitting right there; and speaking kindly about each other is vital to maintaining your civility.
Keep Adult Discussion For Adult Ears Only
If you’re going through an especially nasty divorce, it can be hard to hide your feelings in front of your kids, especially if you see your kids a lot during the way. But although it may be hard to find time to speak openly about your kids, it’s crucial that you never speak harshly about your ex in front of your kids. According to KidsHealth.org, all talk about legal struggles or any heated discussion with or about your ex should be kept out of earshot of your kids. By doing this, you aren’t advertently or inadvertently bringing your children into the drama of your divorce more than they should be.
Don’t Use Your Children To Gain Power
When there are hard feelings lingering after your divorce, you may be looking for a way to get back or get even with your ex. However, you should never use your children as a way to do this. According to Hanif Virani, a contributor to the Huffington Post, you should never involve your kids in any kind of power struggle within your existing relationship with your ex. This means that you aren’t trying to be the parent they love “more” and aren’t breaking rules your family has set so that you can be viewed as the “fun parent”. Not only will this make things harder for your kids to have a relationship with your ex, but it can cause bigger, more longer-term with any relationship your child will have in the future.
If you’re about to go through a divorce, consider using the tips mentioned about to help you stay civil with your ex for the sake of your children.