What about the children?

Parenting, of course, is a very difficult job. Throw in a divorce between parents and that can make parenting even more difficult.

It is very important for children in divorcing families to understand why their parents are getting a divorce and how it is not their fault. There are several important steps that parents must adhere to when telling their children that they are getting a divorce:

Both you and your spouse need to sit down alone and decide to put away any resentment and anger that come with the territory of divorce. Conflicts should be kept privately between you. When children hear arguing about child support and finances and personal gripes about each other, they often internaliSe by thinking that if MUm and Dad had no kids, this would not be happening.

Focus on one issue only: “How can we make this life change easier on our kids?”

Even if your spouse is not willing to cooperate in this discussion, you can still make a big difference in how your child gets through the divorce. It is better that one parent has the ability to soothe the fears and trepidation of the child than none at all. The parent who is calm, is mature enough not to talk negatively about the other parent within earshot of the child’s, and keeps the household as normal as possible, is the parent who eventually will reap the rewards.

Being fair to the children

A huge concern when parents are separating can be the advent of aggressive parenting by one or the other parent. The whole premise of aggressive parenting is to isolate and distance the children from the targeted parent or any other individual who supports the targeted parent.

By deliberately isolating the child from other family members and social supports, the child is used as a ‘pawn’ amongst other things to destroy the targeted parent by denying visitation or a relationship between the other parent and possibly monetary gains such as excessive expenses beyond child support and negotiations concerning property and assets. The reality is that they are in effect committing domestic violence by using the child for personal gain.

As well, verbal denigration, harassment and exploitation of the targeted parent is very prominent and a key indicator of aggressive parenting.

If you have children, mediation is critical to maintain the respect and relationship of and with your children. No matter the age, divorce is difficult for children when they watch their parents verbally abuse each other. Children are often at times forced to take sides whether the parents intend this result or not.

The fact parents often miss in this dynamic is the children will eventually resent you both for your “immaturity” and inability to handle adversity. The parent’s inability to communicate will affect the children in their relationships and a cycle will develop.


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