When people divorce, they are usually angry, sad, depressed, or hurt. Emotions get even more intense for children and teens whose parents are divorcing. Children search for normalcy in the significant upheaval of who cares for them and how they are cared for. Children and adults grieve the loss of their old way of life. Unfortunately, children’s brains are still developing.
Growing up means coping with hormones, complex emotions, and bodily changes. Grief just adds to the challenges that children face. In many cases, they must cope with the sadness, depression, hurt, and anger their parents exhibit non-verbally and verbally. Every child is unique, so they grieve in their own way and learn to adapt to their relationships with both parents.
There are ways that parents can make the transition easier for their kids. Parental behavior during and after divorce has the most significant impact on positive outcomes for their children. Our family law practice in Orlando wants to educate you on these things kids wish their parents would avoid during divorce.
Kids do not want to hear you criticizing their other parent, even if it is true. They love you both and want to keep an open, loving relationship with you. However, when you talk bad about your ex, they often feel like you want them to take sides. They do not want to choose sides, leaving them confused and emotionally conflicted. Save criticisms of the other parent for therapy sessions or conversations with other adults instead of causing further stress for your kids.
Your children love you. They look to you for support and guidance. When you do not allow them to talk about their other parent, they feel rejected. They need to talk to you about everything, so closing the door to discussions involving your ex may make them avoid discussing other important things with you in the future. Show them the love and support they deserve by allowing them to talk to you about anything they need to discuss, even your ex.
As we mentioned before, children’s brains are not fully developed. Therefore, sometimes they cannot process complex emotions. Telling them the details of your divorce proceedings will cause them stress and anxiety that can carry over to their daily life. In addition, it can cause behavioral issues, sleep disturbances, and trouble at school. Therefore, it is essential to focus on their best interests and leave them out of your relationship issues and divorce details.
Children need love and support from both parents. Avoiding their activities to avoid your ex will cause emotional turmoil. They may already feel like your separation is somehow their fault, so avoiding activities that matter to them may magnify feelings of guilt and depression. Unless there is an active restraining order that prevents you from being around your ex, do your best to overlook their prescience and attend your children’s activities to show them the support and love they long for.
These are just a few things that children wish you would avoid during divorce. Call our family law practice in Orlando if you need assistance with a family law issue. We help you navigate the legal system in everyone's best interest.