Divorce is hard on adults. Just think how difficult it is for children, who rarely understand why their parents are separating, do not have any say in where they live or what their new lives will entail, and whose entire life schedules and normal routines are disrupted every few days or weeks when they go to stay with their other parent. As a mother or father, you can make this difficult process easier on them. The months that divorce takes will be a challenge, but you have the ability to minimize the stress and anxiety that your children experience during this time.
Refrain from Bad Mouthing the Other Parent in Front of Your Children
Children are more likely to identify with the parent that is the same gender as they are. Sons will identify with fathers, and daughters will identify with mothers. As such, if a father says to his daughter, “I hope you don’t end up being like your mother,” or makes some other crude or disrespectful comment in front of his daughter, his daughter may internalize that and her emotional development will be delayed or impaired. Even saying something negative about a son’s mother, who is a different gender than him, has a negative effect on the child. It may be tempting to bad mouth or grumble about the other parent, but this can have serious consequences on your child’s emotional and psychological state of mind.
Keeping Conflict Away from Your Children, Communication, and Maintaining a Relationship with Both Parents
Even discluding court appearances and mediation, divorce is filled with conflict between the two spouses. Children pick up on the most subtle derogatory comments just as easily as a shouting argument. Exposure to any type of conflict increases the child’s risk of developing psychological and social problems, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Parents should consider doing the following: