Divorce can be stressful for everyone in the family, particularly the children. Circumstances surrounding a divorce could have a significant emotional impact on the children, which could have long-term effects on their lives. As a parent, it’s crucial to monitor how you handle your divorce in front of your children to help them adjust to the change and minimize the effects of the process on their lives. In this article, we discuss some mistakes you might make as a parent when going through a divorce.
Using the child for communication between parents
The divorce process can create a hostile environment, and some parents may find it difficult to communicate with each other directly. As a result, they may decide to send their children back and forth to convey messages. However, using your children as your medium of communication can make a stressful change even more stressful for them. If verbal communication between parents is strained, it can be helpful to use emails or mediators to convey messages.
Talking ill of the other parent
Divorce can create an environment where parents might find it hard to stay on good terms with each other; significant conflicts needing to be solved during the process can lead to even more tension between the parents. Some parents might be tempted to talk ill of their ex-spouse to their children—but badmouthing your co-parent can negatively affect your child’s emotional health. No matter how frustrated you are, it’s important to watch how you speak of your co-parent in front of the children.
Exposing your child to conflict
Children witnessing their parents arguing, fighting, and insulting each other might result in emotional scarring. They may develop sleep issues, and anxiety disorders, or have trouble forming stable relationships later in life. Divorced parents may also find themselves discussing custody and financial arrangements in front of their children, making the children feel like a transaction or burden. It’s advisable to settle these matters privately, without involving the children.
Ignoring your child’s emotions
Failure of a marriage can be stressful and hurtful to your child. While it might be a difficult situation for you, it’s essential to take some time to talk to your child about how they feel and acknowledge the issues. Allow them a chance to express their feelings and answer their questions about any concerns they might have; this can help them to cope with the change. It’s also essential to reassure the children that the divorce is not their fault and that both parents will continue to be present in their lives.
Treating your child as an adult
A parent might be tempted to lean on their child for emotional support when going through a divorce. You may find yourself confiding in your child with details about the divorce—but remember that your child needs support from you. If you need to talk, it is best to speak to another adult—such as an advisor, counsellor, or friend—instead of your children.
Overindulging your child
Some parents may feel guilty for the pain and sadness that divorce is causing their children. To compensate, parents may let their kids get away with anything, buy them extra toys and gifts, or take them on lavish trips. While it’s okay to fulfill your child’s desires, it could be an issue when done excessively. The child may grow accustomed to this type of treatment and have unrealistic expectations of life in general. This could cause problems in other aspects of their lives, such as in school or with friends.
Are you looking for a divorce lawyer in Oakville?
If you are going through a divorce and seeking legal representation in the Oakville area, contact Carpenter Family Law. Our experienced family lawyer, Geoff Carpenter, provides professional support and helps you reach a final resolution efficiently and affordably.