Yaffa Family Law Group understands that divorce is an incredibly difficult time. This statement is especially true when there are children involved. Studies show that children often suffer greatly from divorce and that it tends to shape many areas of their lives. No matter what other factors are involved, when children are part of the equation, making sure to protect them from the worst aspects of divorce should be the number one priority of both parents. This includes being mindful of the things to never say to your child during a divorce.
Things To Never Say To Your Child During A Divorce
When going through a divorce involving children, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that your child has as smooth of a transition from their pre-divorce life to their post-divorce life.
There are also certain things that you can say or do that are sure to make things worse.
If you consider your words and actions, you can figure out for yourself what is appropriate and what is not.
Don’t Blame Your Children
Most children take the responsibility for a divorce upon themselves.
They feel that they are the thing that their parents have most in common, so if their parents are separating, it must be because they did something wrong.
Blame for a divorce should never be laid upon a child.
The divorce is due to decisions made by the adults.
Children bear no responsibility.
You should never say anything around your children that could be interpreted in any way to mean that they were somehow at fault for the dissolution of the marriage.
Don’t Ask Your Children About Your Ex
It may be very tempting to try to use your child as a spy to get information about your ex and what is happening within their household, especially if you are looking for dirt that you can use in divorce proceedings to improve your position.
Never put your child in this position.
Even if you hate your ex, you still want your children to have a good relationship with both of their parents.
There are plenty of other ways to get the information that you might need about your ex that don’t put your child in the middle.
Your child shouldn’t be made to feel like a pawn in a war between you and your ex.
You never want to make your child feel like they need to choose sides.
If your desire to have your child gather information for you has to do with concerns about your child’s welfare when staying with your ex, there are still other options that you can explore to get the information you need.
It’s important to get your child out of a dangerous situation, but be sure to do it the right way.
Things You Should Never Say To Your Child During A Divorce: Don’t Lie
While you don’t need to share every detail of why you and your ex are separating, it is important not to lie to your children.
Children of divorce often have more difficulty forming healthy relationships later in life.
This is often less to do with the fact that their parents divorced and more to do with a misunderstanding of why that divorce took place.
While you don’t want to lie to your children, you also don’t necessarily want to tell them the unfiltered truth.
One of the best ways to figure out how to best explain to your child the circumstances of your divorce is to speak to a family therapist.
They can advise you on which details to share with your child and which to leave out.
Your child needs to know the general reason that the marriage broke up without specific details.
It’s also important that they understand the truth of how life is going to be different after the divorce.
Don’t Talk Negatively About Your Ex
Even if you are in a very contentious divorce, it is important to remember that your ex is still the parent of your child.
The best path forward is for your child to have a healthy relationship with both of their parents.
You don’t want to try to ruin your child’s relationship with their other parent.
You also don’t want them to internalize any of the negative feelings that you may have for your ex.
Your anger and possible hatred for an ex should not be put on display for your child.
Even if it is not aimed at them, they will still get hit by some of the shrapnel.
An attack on an ex will hurt your child as well.
You should make your home a loving place for your children, where they are the focus.
Remember that however much you may be struggling, children are most affected by divorce.
It is crucial to provide them with a safe space focused on your relationship with them and not with your ex.
Don’t Emotionally Manipulate Your Child
Your children are likely to have periods where they would rather hang out with your ex, rather than with you.
Try not to take it personally, and certainly don’t make your child feel guilty about it.
There will likely be just as many times when your child would rather hang out with you than with your ex as well.
Don’t try to buy your child’s love.
While it is important to be generous and loving with your children, you should not make it a competition between you and your ex to win your child’s love.
Gifts should not be given in competition or on a reward or incentive base surrounding your child’s love for you.
You should not buy them something to get them to choose to spend time with you.
Always remember, above all else, your child is the most important thing.
Work with your ex as much as possible to ensure that your children feel loved and nurtured at all times.