5 Things Kids Think About Divorce (But Never Tell Their Parents)
Marriage requires a lot of work and dedication, but for some people can make all that effort.
Marriage requires a lot of work and dedication. But, for some people, they can make all that effort and realize that their marriage isn’t going anywhere.
Of course, nobody really wants a divorce and that’s not the solution they hoped for. It is the result of thorough consideration and an agreement of both parties involved.
In some cases, it is the only way for both partners to be happy and ensure their children don’t grow up in an unstable home where parents don’t get along. While it takes time for two people to get used to living without one another and starting a single life again, children find it more difficult to adjust.
What do kids really think about their divorced parents the divorce itself? Let’s find out.
1. You didn’t fail as a parent.
When two people decide to divorce, they usually feel guilty and think they failed as parents. Your children don’t really look at you or define you through your divorce.
The marital status shouldn’t be identified with someone’s parenting skills. All your child knows and wants you to know is that you are a great mom/dad and failure of a marriage isn’t the demise of parenthood.
2. Don’t badmouth our other parent.
How many times have you badmouthed your ex in front of your child? Although it may feel easier for you do it and vent out, it’s not healthy for your child.
Children love both parents and want them around. They love you, but they also love their other parent too.
Regardless of your relationship with your ex, whether you get along or not, never badmouth that person when they annoy you in front of your kids. Not only will that make them feel bad, but also cause an unnecessary stress.
What is stress going to do to a child? Stress can affect children the same way as adults: impair their sleep, affect energy levels and productivity, and it is needless to mention they’d feel guilty knowing you can’t stand their other parent.
3. Even though you can’t live together, act civilized.
Some people get divorced and remain friends, even socialize together and attend school competitions and various events as a family. Others aren’t there yet and they argue quite frequently.
The impact of these arguments on your child is the same as it was when you were married and fought in the same home. Kids want both parents to get along. They don’t want or like to feel the negative energy surrounding them.
So, if you can’t live together, for the sake of your children, take baby steps and work to get along, without arguments and negative comments. Living in peace is way better and less stressful than constant, energy-draining fights.
4. Don’t discourage us from talking about our other parent.
Children want to talk about their lives, and this also includes their other parent. When your child comes home or for a visit, starts talking and mentions the other parent, the last thing you’d want to do is to end the conversation.
The idea that your son or daughter isn’t allowed to mention the other parent only causes stress and anxiety.
Divorce takes time to adjust, but with a little bit of work and effort, you can get there. This “effort” also means you should talk to your child, listen to the stories about what they’ve done throughout the week without demanding they stop talking about your ex.
Also, there will come the time when your child, younger or grown up, will talk about the other parent and say how something they’ve done or said was frustrating. At that point, you shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon and start commenting. Listen to your child, try to give a constructive advice, and that’s it.
5. Be careful about how you discuss our visitation hours.
When you’re going through the entire process that divorce entails, it also requires two people to discuss and determine the custody, visitation hours, and so on. Your child understands that you have to do that, but you shouldn’t talk about him/her like a project that has to be managed or some piece of furniture that both parties want.
Children have feelings and needs and they understand what’s going on, even though it may seem otherwise. Always consider your child’s emotions when you’re making plans regarding visits etc.
Other things kids want you to know:
- The harder you make it on your ex, the harder it gets for your child too.
- Always be honest.
- Be mindful of your child’s needs.
- When you criticize your ex in front of your child, he/she gets mad at you.
- Don’t gossip about all details of divorce in front of your child.
- It’s not necessary to complain about your ex while your child is in the room.
- Handle all conversations with one another. Your child is not a messenger.
- Don’t use money or presents to win a child’s love. Just be there for them.
Divorce is tough on the entire family, especially for kids. The key to a “healthy” divorce is to make a smooth transition and find a way to co-exist with your ex to create a stable environment for your child.
That’s why it’s important to avoid badmouthing, criticizing your ex, trying to win a child’s love with money, and exerting a negative energy that only makes your child stressed out.