Divorce and your children
September 16, 2009
A divorce can present a huge emotional strain on both parties involved and each will be looking for the outcome that is best for them. It is easy at this time for parents to forget how their decisions are affecting their children.
In custody battles, the court will always look for the best outcome for the child and this should be your first consideration too.
Children will know that something is wrong in the household so be honest with them, but there is no need to tell them the whole story. Involving a child in the intricacies of divorce can often cause more harm than good. A child’s first instinct is often to blame themselves and too much information can feed this fear. They could easily feel they could have done something to prevent the divorce.
Displaying hatred of your spouse in front of the child or using them to pass on messages to can cause emotional confusion: will they upset one parent by showing affection towards the other? There is equally a chance they may feel that one or other parent is to blame – satisfying for you, maybe, but potentially damaging for the child.
So be prepared to meet children on their own terms. Remember a complete family is probably all they know. Remind them that they are still loved equally by each of you and endeavour to allow them access to both their parents. Most importantly, reassure your child that they are not in any way to blame.