Your Children’s Thoughts Matter
What you tell your children matters, as they may take what you say and form their own opinions based on your thoughts. This is crucial to keep in mind during a divorce. What you say to your children during this time has a huge impact on them, so here are some things you should avoid.
Blaming the Other Parent
Phrases such as “If only your mother/father would…” or similar expressions assign blame to the other parent. If your children begin to pick up on the blame game, then they will begin to play along, casting the same blame that you are. This is unfair to both the other parent as well as your children.
Similarly, name-calling directed toward the other parent has a similar effect. Labeling the other parent something when your children are around lets them feel as if that label is true, can be repeated by them, and can even contribute to feelings of parental alienation.
Blaming the Children
You are not divorcing your children, so signifying that they are to blame for the dissolution of your marriage can have serious ramifications now and in the future. If your children believe that they were the cause of your divorce, then they could end up carrying that mental burden for years.
Middle Man Statements
You should not use your children as “middlemen” going back and forth between you and the other parent to communicate or to learn anything said behind your back. Asking your children to relay information about the other parent to you creates a feeling of awkwardness within them.
“I Was Busy”
Yes, divorce is a lot to handle along with your regular responsibilities, but this does not relieve you of your parental responsibilities. Your children need to feel like they are a priority in your life, so do not miss opportunities to be a parent by skipping time with them. Circumstances pop up, of course, so don’t be afraid to communicate the truth with your child and make it up to them if you have to do something.
Consult an Attorney
While not a child psychologist, your attorney can guide you on what to say in front of your children and how to say it. Attorneys understand the intricacies of divorce and how best to navigate them with your family.
Law Office of Alexandra White, PC is committed to the personalized attention and professional treatment of our clients. If you have a family law case, contact our Colorado family lawyers at (303) 647-4245 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.