After divorce parents may compensate by using their children to take over responsibilities the child is not mature enough to handle. A single mother with a second job may depend on her daughter to take up the slack at home, because she has no time or energy. A single father, who doesn’t see his children as often may say things to cause them to feel guilty over their absence in his life.These are tips on how to not use your children to fill the gap left by an ex husband or wife. Children have enough to cope with after divorce. Letting your child be a child; no matter what is going on in your life is be a priority.
- Offer your children a secure environment. One in which they know they are safe and protected by an adult.
- Accept responsibility for parental activities. It is OK to give a child chores but a child should not be doing all the cooking and cleaning just because mom or dad is not there to do it.
- No adult talk about your children. They don’t need to know if you are struggling financially, if you are stressed out or problems with your ex. Talk to another adult about adult things.
- Have children sleep in their own beds, not your bed. If they need comfort at night then lay with them, in their beds until they fall asleep.
- Don’t make smaller children the responsibility of older siblings. If you need a babysitter, call a friend or family member.
- When you start dating don’t bring your children into the process. Your children should not be involved in dating relationships until you find a long time partner.
- If you are using drugs or alcohol to help you deal with stress, stop. Children need a parent with a clear head.
- Make sure your child is exposed to other adults such as other family members, Grandparents and friends. This will give the child an opportunity to observe how adults act and behave responsibly.
- Be careful about what you expect from your child. It is OK to promote responsibility. It isn’t OK to ask him / her to take on adult responsibilities.