Positive Parenting Through Divorce

Posted on January 26, 2012

Divorce seems to be just as common as marriage.  In 2008, the divorce rate in America was close to fifty percent.  Although divorce seems more common, how to deal with a divorce is anything but common.  A divorce is hard on everyone in a family.   Children of every age are affected differently by divorce.  When parenting children through a divorce and parenting after a divorce, it is helpful to remember the following:

Don’t Put Your Children in the Middle:

Although talking to your ex may be uncomfortable, it is necessary to keep your child out of the middle. Children often feel put in between their parents and caught up in the middle of fights when having to pass information back and forth.  This causes extra stress and pain, on top of what the child is experiencing from the divorce.

Don’t Over Share with your Children:

Parenting through a divorce, it is your job to protect your child from details they do not need to know.  Children often ask what is going on, but should only be told general information that is not hurtful towards either parent, such as “Your mom and I are getting a divorce because we have some problems that we cannot work through.”  These statements might not be what your child wants to hear, but the more information you share the more chance of putting your child in the middle.  

Don’t Say Hurtful Things about Your Ex:

This can be the hardest thing for parents, but anything you say about your ex shames your child.  Remember that your ex is still your child’s parent, and anything bad said about a parent reflects on the child.  Repeatedly saying hurtful things about your ex to your child can be ‘Parent Alienation.’  With parent alienation, a parent tries to make the other parent look bad, and win the affection of the child.  In the presence of your child, you should refrain from saying anything hurtful about your ex to avoid negative thoughts towards you, your ex, or your child.  

Keep Your Focus on Positive Parenting Through the Divorce:

Positive co-parenting should be a priority throughout the divorce.  As much as you can, avoid arguing in front of your child.  Do not make your children feel guilty when spending time with your ex or with friends.  Talk with your ex about issues surrounding discipline, school, and house rules so that there is consistency and structure in your child’s life.  

When going through a divorce, children must rearrange their whole world.  It is harder for a children to go through a divorce when he or she is put in the middle, hears details about his or her parent’s relationship, and deals with parent alienation.  There is help for dealing with a divorce for you and your children.  A counselor can help the family transition, co-parenting, and child counseling, as a safe place for your child to deal with feelings surrounding the divorce.  

 

Written by: Shannon Hinkle, MA

Shannon is has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in the Indianapolis area.  She specializes in relationship and divorce care, teens issues, and communication skills.  To contact Shannon call (317) 474- 6448 ext 112 or email at Shannon@GroffandAssociates.com

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==