The Pangs of Divorce: How to Protect Your Kids’ Mental Health
The breakdown of a marriage is arguably among the most difficult things that children can experience. While the parents themselves are also hurt by the divorce, they still have the responsibility to be mindful of how the kids feel and respond. It’s challenging, but taking that responsibility seriously is a must if the kids are able to come out of it with healthy relationships with both of their split parents.
There are three main things that must be observed by soon-to-be ex partners during the divorce. These things help shield the kids from the negative emotional ramifications of the whole ordeal.
Avoid painting the other as the ‘bad’ one in the breakup.
In many divorce cases, one partner is more at fault than the other. Maybe this partner cheated on the other, or maybe they become the more neglectful one, leading to the dissolution of the marriage.
But the kids should not have to know those things, especially if they are younger and incapable of fully understanding everything. In explaining the divorce, it might help to focus on the conflict and why it’s best to part ways rather than focusing on who started the conflict or whose fault the whole thing is. The kids still need to have effective connections with both parents, and it will be very difficult to do that if they think ill of one or both parents.
Not putting blame on the other might be difficult for the partners in conflict. But if the welfare of the children is really important to them, they’d really invest time and effort in shielding their kids from the negativity that unfortunately has befallen them and their relationship with each other.
Always be fair when making decisions.
When there is a divorce, the issue is most probably just between the parents, and not between each parent and their children. Given this, it is safe to expect that each parent would want to spend time and be involved in the children’s lives.
However, because of the separation, responsibilities have to legally discussed with a competent family lawyer and then duly divided between the partners, especially if one or both of them remarry. Now, fairness has to be observed when scheduling meetups and participation in the kids’ important milestones such as graduations and recitals. The parent with the custody over the children should resist the temptation of treating the kids as resources that they can give as treats to a well-behaved ex-partner or withdraw from an ex who is perceived to be undeserving. Doing this will just perpetuate the conflict, making it difficult for the kids and even for them to heal. If you and your spouse can agree to the division of property, assets and all child related issues, then an online divorce service is something to consider.
Foster cooperation as co-parents.
While the romance and passion have definitely died down, the cooperation between the ex-partners and the respect for each other must never go away. In fact, they should foster these because cooperation and respect will surely help make their co-parenting a lot easier to do. Parenting, after all, is just like any other task; it is demanding and it can really drain the energies out of the parents. But the burden won’t be so heavy if each parent feels that they are working alongside a co-parent who respects them and is very willing to help.
A divorce is going to be hurtful for the partners involved, but the welfare of the kids should come first, and protecting them should always be on each partner’s priority list.