Going through a divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, especially for children. During this process it is vital that you pay particular attention to the children and how they are reacting to the proceedings. The damage which a divorce can do to kids can stay with them for the rest of their lives if not managed properly, and this is why they must be the focus, despite what is going on in the rest of your personal life. We spoke to lawyer David Turlington who deals with custody cases, about how you can best protect your children throughout the divorce proceedings.
Keeping it Normal
You must try as hard as you can to keep the lives of your kids as normal as possible. This means still taking them to their after school groups, still allowing them to have sleepovers with their friends and generally keeping everything possible the same, including staying in the family home if it is possible.
Regardless of what your feelings are about your ex partner, you must still remember that this person is still the parent of your child. With this in mind you must absolutely avoid saying anything bad about your ex when in front of your children. The reasons for this is so that your kids don’t see this as you setting an example, because they could end up mimicking you and thinking that it is ok to speak negatively about people. The second reason is that it should be up to them what kind of opinion they hold about their parents, and this should not be influenced by you.
Unfortunately in many divorce cases, parents try to use their kids as pawns, not allowing the other parent to see the kids by way of punishment. This may make you feel good and as though you are getting one over on your ex, but it will bring about no good at all in terms of your children. As aforementioned, keep things as normal as possible and hide your feelings about your ex, to create a cordial environment until the divorce proceedings are completed.
Open and Honest
The reason why so many kids harbor feelings about a divorce is because their parents are reluctant to speak to them about what is going on. What happens however, is that if the kids aren’t told what is going on, they will make assumptions in their heads, which are invariably far worse than the reality of the situation. Make sure that you are keeping your kids in the loop about what is happening and ensure that you have created an environment for them to feel alright about opening up to you and talking about how they feel. Many kids blame themselves for divorces and it will be your responsibility to ensure that your kids know that this is not true at all.