Going through a divorce is a significant challenge for the spouses involved. Divorces can be extremely emotionally taxing on adults, but they can leave children with more than just stress. If parents are not looking after their children in a divorce, the children can face lifelong consequences.
Studies have shown that a divorce can create more psychological problems in a child than a death in the family. When not even the death of a loved one can be as damaging to a child, what can a parent do to protect their children from their divorce?
Putting children first
In bad divorces, spouses fight each other over everything, and the children quickly become tools that one spouse will use against the other. Parents might say negative things about one another to their children, or try to have their children report on the other parent to them. Criticisms and prodding children for information they may not understand put children in a confusing place.
No matter what feelings parents have for each other, children often see each parent as a part of themselves. When someone insults their parent, it becomes an insult by extension to the child. If a parent asks their child to “tell on” the other parent, it can feel like betraying that parent. It is not enough for parents to leave children out of a divorce; they also need to both stay on the same team when raising their children.
If one parent refuses to follow through on discipline or other rules like sleep schedules, it does more bad than good. While the idea behind these choices may be to look like the “cool parent” to their children, it also teaches the children that it is okay to undermine the other parent’s authority. This behavior can instill a sense of disrespect to the other parent, whether this was the intention or not.
Do not let children become a victim of divorce
If an ex-spouse is exhibiting some of these or other negative parenting behaviors towards children, a family law attorney may be able to protect your children from this behavior. Putting your children as your primary goal in a divorce can give them the best possible outcome in your divorce.