Many things a parent will do affect how children cope with divorce. We can influence through our own actions how well our children cope with the divorce of their parents. Below is a list of some behaviors that children should be protected from. Things you definitely don’t want to expose your children to.
1. Don't badmouth or criticize the other parent.
Children view themselves as half Mom and half Dad so, when you criticize the other parent you criticize your child. This also applies to stepparents and other adults in your child's life.
2. Dont share details of your divorce.
It is never in the best interest of children to be told information about court matters, child support, or financial concerns about your divorce. Children feel confused and caught in the middle when parents share too much detail with them.
3. Don't use your children as spies.
If you need to know something about your spouse, find it out yourself. Asking your child to spy on a parent puts the child in the middle and causes feelings of responsibility for the parents welfare.
4. Don't argue and engage in conflict in front of your child.
Parental conflict continues the cycle of children feeling confused and caught in the middle. Be supportive of your child and the stress they are under by conducting yourself in a mature manner when co-parenting with your ex.
5. Don't make your children responsible for making adult decisions.
Children should not be responsible for taking care of matters just because mom or dad stressed out. Make whatever adjustments you have to so that yourchild can be a child, with responsibilities of their normal age range.
6. Don't ignore your child when they ask why there is a divorce.
Not listening to your child and answering their questions sends them the message that their feelings dont matter. Answer your childrens questions in an age appropriate manner no matter how painful the subject is for you.
7. Don't withhold visitation to punish the other parent.
A child should have regular contact with both parents. The pain your child would feel because of the absence of a parent is not worth your need for revenge. Parental Alienation is a form of child abuse that will have life-long consequences for your child.
8. Don't try to buy your child's love.
Gifts may make an impression for a moment but, your attention and love makes an impression that lasts a lifetime. The Disney Land parent is fun, the responsible parents makes a lasting impression.
9. Don't forget to have fun.
Lets face it, children are all about having some fun. Make sure you offer a relaxing fun environment. One in which they can let go of their worries and just be a child. Fun goes a long way in relieving stress!