When you swear to be together for good or bad, you think that your marriage will last forever. There’s no couple who believes that they will end up getting divorced after a while.
Unfortunately, it happens, and people have multiple reasons when they decide to separate. Things become more complicated when there are kids involved.
They are the ones who suffer the most, and they are usually caught in the parents’ war against each other. Co-parenting after divorce is often a challenging task that many parents don’t know how to handle.
On the other hand, there are plenty of solutions to the mistakes you should avoid if you don’t want your kid to suffer. Keep reading this article and discover how you can protect your kid from being affected by your divorce.
4 Crucial Divorce Mistakes that Impact Kids
Bad-mouthing the other parent
A divorce doesn’t come easy for any couple. After spending years together and supporting each other in both pleasant and challenging situations, you cannot accept the drastic change immediately. There are many resentments and frustrations accumulated during the pre-divorce period when you are not sure what is the best decision for your family.
When you finally conclude that divorce is a wise decision, you might start taking out all the bad feelings that you have accumulated during this period.
Talking badly about the other parent in front of your kid is one of the biggest mistakes that you could make. Your kid doesn’t know which are the reasons that took his parents to divorce. He is not the reason why you decided to separate, and his feelings for you shouldn’t be altered by this situation.
A kid loves both parents and wants to spend as much time as possible with both of you. He also needs you both, and this is one of the reasons why you should find a solution to collaborate for your kid’s sake. The best solution that you can apply is biting your tongue when you want to bad-mouth the other parent. Think of your kid’s happiness first and stop the bad feelings from flooding your rationale.
Use the kid to manipulate the other parent
There are many couples who loved each other badly and suddenly decided to end their marriage. Their immense love turned into an intense ambition to cause a lot of trouble for each other. Kids are usually the pawns used by parents to manipulate each other.
Many parents use their kids to send messages to each other, forgetting about what their child feels when he has to do that. There are also situations when children have to ask the other parent for material benefits, being manipulated by the parent who is taking care of him to do so.
It is clear that you have to avoid making this mistake and think of your child’s psychological balance on top of everything. Instead of using your kid as a communication tool, you should better use a lawyer to ask the other parent precisely what you want from him.
You should also trust the competent court to make a final decision regarding the split of material things. Therefore, if you have a decision coming from a jury or judge, then you don’t have to use your child to ask for any financial benefits for your child.
Become overindulgent because you feel guilty
No parent would want his kids to suffer after a divorce. The transition from living with both parents to staying with only one of them can be very challenging for a kid. There are also situations when the child has to change his house and have to accommodate in a new environment.
Plus, both parents are affected by the divorce, which makes them struggle to concentrate on the kid’s needs and taking care of him. Therefore, once the parent starts to recover after this experience, the guilt becomes to appear in his heart and mind. He suddenly understands all the stress and pressure he has put on his kid during the divorce.
Another crucial mistake that many parents make is becoming overindulgent because they feel guilty. The parent who has left the house feels guilty for abandoning his child and start overwhelming him with gifts and gestures.
On the other hand, the parent who stays at home with the kid wants to replace a bit the empty spot left by the other parent. Thus, he also buys him gifts. Even though it feels significant from the child’s perspective, this is the just beginning for creating a spoiled child who won’t know how to appreciate his parents’ efforts.
Forcing your child to choose sides
Another crucial mistake is to push your children to choose sides and decide with whom they want to live. When your kid is old enough to understand the situation and have preferences over one parent or another, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is put your child in the position of saying with whom he wants to go.
There is nothing more painful for a child than to face separation and understand that from that day on he won’t have both parents living with him anymore.
Instead of forcing your child to choose sides, you should think with whom he should stay to be less affected by the separation. Either option you want, it will still be painful. However, you should think of a solution which is the least disturbing for your little one.
You mustn’t force your child to do anything that is against his will. If he wants to stay in the beginning with his mother and visit his father for a week or two every month, then you should accept it without arguing too much. Let your child feel that you understand him, and you take his opinion into consideration.
When they go through a divorce, children’s needs become more acute than ever before. If you want to help them overcome this shock, you should make them feel accepted and safe. Also, you should show them that they are not guilty about the divorce, and you don’t have anything to blame on them.
You should also try to be as stable as possible and show your child that you are powerful and he can rely on you. Finally, you shouldn’t forget that your kid is just a kid, and you should treat him accordingly.
Daniela McVicker is a psychologist and family counselor. She is also a freelance writer and a contributor to TopWritersReview. Her passion is writing about leading a healthy family life and helping people enjoy their lives to the fullest. www.topwritersreview.com