How Does Divorce Affect My Kids?

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Divorces can get really ugly sometimes but there are many things couples can do to increase the likelihood of a peaceful and respectful divorce.

The number one rule of divorced parenting is not to bad-mouth your ex-spouse anywhere or anytime your child might overhear you. As parents (divorced or not) you must act in a unified manner for your child, in situations specifically regarding her interests.

Here are a few guidelines by Divorce Force to remember so that you ensure that the focus is always on your children:

1. Act as a team

Unresolved resentment and hurt between the parents can get in the way of their ability to co-parent their child. If parents take on different and opposite parenting roles — for example, one enables and the other disciplines — the lack of communication, consistency and structure weakens a child’s sense of stability and may open the door to behavioural problems at home or in school. It’s important to act together for your child in situations specifically regarding their interests, such as when you are meeting with their school teachers.

2. Deal with issues together

If you are notified of new behavioural issues in your child, dealing with it together is especially important. Put aside your differences and work together to help your child. Attend school meetings about your child together and without your significant others. It may be appealing to arrange separate meetings to avoid an encounter with your ex, but attending together puts everyone on the same page and indicates to your child your intention to co-parent despite the divorce.

3. Keep the Focus on the children

Try your best to focus exclusively on your children. It can be very awkward, but the hurt and bitterness you carried out of your divorce must not oversee these interactions. Setting aside your negative feelings is the most important part in working cooperatively as parents. Remember that the ultimate goal is to give your children a happy childhood and emotional stability, not defeating or paying back your spouse.

4. Put Together A Parenting Plan

When you and your spouse decide to part ways, you must take the time to evaluate your post-divorce parenting and set up up ground rules that will work for both of you. The goal here is to establish similar general guidelines and not to set strict rules in both households. Kids do better and feel safer when they are living under the same basic set of expectations at each home. Treating your spouse courteously and with respect goes a long way in helping this to happen. It can also be useful to see a family counsellor to develop a plan that will allow you to co-parent effectively.

Also make taking care of yourself a high priority! See a therapist or join a support group to get you through this challenging time. Take one day at a time and know that time heals all wounds

One Comment

  1. Stephanie

    September 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    As a stepmom I have seen the effect firsthand of not having good communication. There was a point where my bonus baby was making up lies such as “Daddy let me do this” or “Mommy always lets me eat this”.

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