As a divorcing parent, you continue to want the best for your children. You support them as best you can, despite the upheaval that will inevitably affect their lives.
However, among disagreements about child custody and property division, pent-up anger between you and your spouse can make matters worse for the kids, innocently caught in the middle. So, how can you protect your children from the trauma caused by your relationship struggles?
Three ways to protect kids from conflict
No matter how favorable your settlement is, it’s doubtful you and your ex will get along after you dissolve your marriage. As co-parents, though, you need to consider the best interests of your children; namely, how you interact with each other.
Kids commonly fear being abandoned by one, if not both, of their parents during a divorce. And psychological studies suggest that contention between the two of you may negatively influence a young one’s mental health.
Therefore, it may be important for you and your former spouse to make some concessions while you navigate your new normal. To shelter your children from fear and anxiety:
- Find a way to communicate apart from your children, in case discussions turn into arguments
- Choose not to verbalize negative thoughts and feelings about your ex while talking to your kids
- Don’t expect the children to facilitate communication on your behalf
Disagreements are a normal part of a relationship – married or not. However, how badly your kids suffer from changing family dynamics is up to you.
Even when you wholeheartedly believe you’re making the right decision, dissolving your marriage will inevitably affect your children. Still, divorce creates a situation in which loving your kids might mean trading unfortunate temporary circumstances for a healthier, happier future. Until then, it would be wise to leave the kids out of your adult complications.