Divorce is hard for everybody, not least the children in your family. They may feel the separation between you and your ex-partner is their fault. Your child may struggle with issues around loyalty, not wanting to hurt either parent’s feelings. There may be anger and resentment from them toward you, as they blame you for not making the marriage work.
The custody battle will be hard, and compromises will need to be met. Legal advice will be taken from a father or mother’s rights attorney as agreements are drawn up. There will be hurt and disappointment all round, and that has to be accepted. When it comes to your child, however, you need to make your best effort to make this difficult process as easy as you can for them.
Show your child you love them
A divorce can be a bitter and time-consuming affair, and your child will feel lost in the middle of the battle between you and your ex. Remember that your kids will be suffering all kinds of conflicted feelings, including blame and hurt. Reassure your child that despite the chaos happening around them, they are still loved, and are not to blame for the marriage breakup.
When it comes to custody arrangements, make every effort to spend time with your child at the allotted time. If you have the majority of care hours, and the other person fails to show up, there will be a disappointment for you and your child. Be ready for this, and have a backup plan for the day. Explain to your child that even though your ex has made a big mistake, it does not mean they have fallen out of love with them.
Allow your child to vent their feelings
No matter the hurt you are going though, don’t dismiss your children’s feelings. If you or your ex-partner fail to turn up as arranged, allow your child to express anger. Children are not equipped to deal with certain emotions so allow your child to express them without bottling them up. If you suspect your child is keeping his emotions under wraps, perhaps for your sake if he sees you upset, tell him it is okay to feel sad and angry, and encourage them to share their feelings.
Keep your children out of the firing line
You may have all kinds of bitterness and anger stored up inside you, but that doesn’t mean your child should listen to you venting your feelings about your ex. Your child may already feel conflicted in loyalty, and you will not help the situation by turning your child against the other person.
When it comes to custody, provided your ex is a safe person to be with, don’t try and prevent them from spending time with your child. You may have feelings of revenge towards your ex, but don’t withhold your child as part of your personal vendetta. Make sure transition times are peaceful, even if you need to smile through gritted teeth.