No matter the conditions surrounding it, going through a divorce is rarely easy, and parents will sometimes make remarks during the process that they later regret. When a couple has children together, parents should avoid saying certain things or broaching certain topics with their kids. The following lists some suggestions for things not to say to one’s children during divorce.
Speaking bad about the other parent
Ostensibly, parents get divorced because of irreconcilable differences between them. As such, parents may not be able to speak to each other civilly. However, they must keep in mind that their children love both parents, and making disparaging remarks about the other parent can hurt the children as well and elicit a sense of confusion regarding their feelings toward a parent.
In addition, a parent who consistently makes ill-favored remarks about the other may be seen as trying to alienate the children from the other parent. This is a practice frowned upon by the courts, and it may even backfire on the parent making the remarks. Instead, parents should try to work together as much as possible and remain civil toward each other, especially in front of the children.
Blaming the kids
Parents should also avoid making statements that either explicitly or implicitly place blame on the child for the parent’s divorce. Raising kids is a challenge under the best circumstances; however, making a child to feel responsible for the divorce will only create low self-esteem and other mental and emotional issues in the child. These effects can last for years, and the child may never fully recover.
Considering the emotionally challenging aspect of divorce, sometimes, parents let their emotions get the better of them. As such, they would each do well to work with an experienced family law attorney from the start. A lawyer can provide a compassionate but objective perspective and help the parent protect his or her rights and increase the parent’s chances of obtaining the most favorable outcomes possible, considering the circumstances.