Divorce can be amicable or fraught with tension and conflict. Even if both parties are completely in agreement and negotiations are peaceful, the aftermath of a divorce can be especially confusing and stressful for your minor children, and this applies doubly in the case of a contentious split.
Before and during the divorce, you probably spent a decent amount of time figuring out how to gently break the news. However, the work does not end there. The emotions and anxiety caused by the sudden upheaval of their lives generally continue to persist in children after the divorce. In order to help yours get through this difficult time, it is important not just to do certain things, but also to avoid certain actions.
1. Talking poorly of your ex-spouse
Regardless of if your relationship with your former spouse is okay or in tatters, it is imperative to never trash-talk him or her in front of or to your children. Your ex-spouse will always be your offspring’s parent and talking poorly of him or her only hurts them. It may also constitute parental alienation, which is a form of emotional abuse and can serve as grounds for a modification to your custody order.
2. Assigning blame
Do not blame your ex-spouse to your children’s faces, even if he or she is responsible. Do not blame the children either. Do not blame anyone. Your children need comfort and assurance that everything is okay, not to hear the blame game, though what you tell them may change depending on their age and maturity.
3. Using your children as an intermediary
Never use your children as mediators or a sole line of communication. This places an unfair burden on them.
Children often suffer during and after a divorce. It is important to be patient and understanding and avoid involving them in conflicts with your ex-spouse.