It is estimated that 50 percent of marriages in the United States will end in divorce, thus, there are millions of children who are affected by divorce every year.
Divorce can impact a child's standard of living, the relationship with their mother and father, their schoolwork, and their emotional well-being. With this in mind, it is important for parents to handle their divorce delicately so the transition will go as smoothly as possible for their children.
What You Should Do
One of the best things you can do for your child is maintain a positive attitude and a united front with your spouse, regardless of the marital conflicts. Healthy communication between you and your spouse is the foundation of a healthy divorce. You should both act maturely, and no matter what, act in your child's best interests.
It is important that you do not disparage your spouse in front of your child, and your spouse must agree to do the same for you. Likewise, do not allow your child to speak disrespectfully about the other parent.
Some married couples are on the same page about discipline, while others couldn't disagree more about their disciplinary tactics. Either way, it is important that you and your spouse provide your child with consistency between the two households. You should agree on bedtimes, homework rules, chores, and consequences for misbehavior.
Keep the other parent in the loop about school projects, medical appointments, medications, health, their friendships, birthday parties, parent-teacher meetings, sports, dance recitals etc. It wouldn't be fair to your child if the other parent's lack of knowledge was misunderstood as a lack of caring.
What Not to Do
If you are feeling bitter towards your spouse, that is only natural; however, you do not want animosity to hurt your children. The best way to preserve your child's emotional well-being is to refrain from sabotaging their relationship with the other parent.
If you are experiencing hurt feelings, seek counseling. Do not project these negative emotions on your child, and do not use your child to obtain information on the other parent. Keep the other parent informed about new jobs, work schedule changes, moving, a new partner, etc.
When you both have to attend an event for your child, do not make it an awkward situation. Such events are all about your child, and it is better for children to focus on their event instead of worrying about their parents.
By following these guidelines, you can help your child transition through the divorce experience so they can enjoy a healthier outcome and increased resiliency. Contact Cairns Law Offices for all of your divorce needs!