Keeping Your Kids Out of the Middle in a Divorce
When you are involved in a divorce and there are minor children, you can struggle with the desire to vent to your children about your ex or about your divorce. When your children ask about your divorce, or ask why you got divorced, your inclination can be to try to take the blame away from yourself by suggesting or putting it on your ex. It’s never a smart or a caring thing to do. How do you avoid the temptation?
Remember That the Mental and Emotional Health of your Children is Paramount
Regardless of the nature of your relationship with your ex, or what went on between the two of you, your children look to both of you with love and concern. In the aftermath of divorce, your goal should not be winning the hearts and minds of your children, but it should be in providing a stable and loving atmosphere that doesn’t force them to choose sides. The unfortunate reality is that when parents consistently bring up blame with children of divorce, the children ultimately start wondering if they were to blame, especially when parents are blaming each other. One of the healthiest things you can do, both for yourself and for your children, is to admit that you contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.
Always Speak Respectfully about Your Ex
Issues may arise or questions may come up, where your children will be looking to you to hear your opinion about your ex-spouse. When you speak derogatorily, it causes anxiety, fear and uncertainty in your children. The best approach is often to simply tell your children “Your mother (father) loves you and wants what is best for you.” If questions persist, you may want to contact your ex and discuss how you want to address the matter. Again, you should focus on what’s best for your children.
If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree as to how to respond, family counseling (or individual counseling for your child) may be appropriate.
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.