Children and divorce do not go hand in hand. Far too often, children do experience divorce, but having parents get divorced and actually being dragged through a divorce trial are two entirely separate items, both of which create separate memories for your child.
As a parent going through divorce, you obviously want to be the one “awarded” custody, so you may go to extra lengths to ensure that your spouse gets the short end of the stick. These lengths may include putting your kids in the middle of your divorce, and that is, without a doubt, completely and utterly irresponsible and unacceptable. Here’s why.
Children want to feel important.
When you drag a child through a divorce, your focus isn’t about them, but about “beating” the other parent at the divorce game. Your child wants to be important to you for who they are, not what advantage they can bring to the table. Prove to your child that you love him or her by putting their feelings first and keeping them uninvolved in the divorce proceedings.
Children don’t want to feel guilty.
During a divorce, children will often feel guilty, even though they shouldn’t. Children, especially younger children, will often feel like the divorce was their fault or that they could have prevented it somehow. When you drag your child through the divorce, these feelings only become worse. Not only should you keep your child away from the divorce, but you should also talk openly with your child and remind and assure them that the divorce is not their fault, and that you and their other parent will still love them unconditionally, even under separate roofs.
Children don’t want to take sides.
Your child wants to love you and your spouse equally, and it’s important that you remember your ex is still a parent, and they deserve your child’s love. When you drag a child through a divorce, they will often feel as if they need to choose sides, and this is not fair to your child. Instead, try to create the best possible custody agreement that allows your child to spend time with both parents. This way, they will not feel like they’re choosing sides.
Children don’t want to be the messenger.
Although you may dislike your ex, it’s very important that you keep all matters of your divorce between you and your ex and not the child. Your child doesn’t need to hear how you truly feel about their mom or dad, and they don’t need to be a spy for you or the other parent either. If you want to keep your child happy, refrain from talking bad about your ex in front of your child, and never argue with your ex in front of the child. And if you must communicate with your ex, make sure you do it yourself and don’t ask your child to get involved.
Children hold onto their emotions.
When you drag a child through a divorce, you force them to have certain feelings and emotions. These emotions could bottle up inside your child until they explode, or they could even lead toward resentment. For the safety and well being of your child, keep them out of your divorce.