Going through a divorce is stressful, exhausting and emotional, no doubt about it.
While this is happening to you, it can be easy to “slip up” and say or do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. For example, say things in front of the kids that you wouldn’t ordinarily say.
But a little extra awareness on your part can go a long way towards helping your kids get through this difficult time.
Here are some tips to guide you:
- Don’t talk to your lawyer (or anyone else) about the case in front of your kids.
- Don’t bring your kids to court, mediation, the lawyer’s office or anywhere else where you will be working on your case unless you are specifically asked to do so.
- If you are requested to bring your kids to one of those places, bring a friend or neighbor to watch them and keep them company,and talk to them before and after the event.
- Don’t talk negatively about your spouse in front of them (this applies even if your spouse is their step-parent).
- Don’t talk about your spouse’s bad behavior in front of your kids, even if they’ve seen it for themselves.
- Don’t talk about how frustrated, angry, scared or hopeless you feel in front of your kids. You are their security.
- Don’t confide in your kids or use them as your therapist or friend, even if they are teenagers.
- Don’t play voice messages from your spouse or your lawyer where your kids can hear them.
- Don’t use the reasoning, “They know what’s going on anyway”, “I just want to be honest with them”, or “My spouse says worse”. Talk to them in age appropriate ways, at the proper time and place.
- Don’t use foul language or hateful language in front of your kids.
Your kids will thank you one day for the grace, strength and class that you have shown. And you’ll feel good about yourself as a parent.