It is often a child that pays the greatest price during the separation and divorce process.
Who is there to guide the couple in how to handle themselves and their children through the course of this process? Enlisting the assistance of an expert can make the world of difference to your children, and to you.
Using your children as communication tools is wrong, and very hurtful.
Usually, neither parent has experienced divorce before. They have no idea how to navigate the process, handle the emotional ups and downs, nor what is and isn’t appropriate.
Engaging in hostile conversation in front of the children is incredibly damaging to the child. Regardless of whether you still live under the same roof while separated or divorced, or in two separate homes, the children should never hear you argue.
All too often, the parents reach a point where they are not on speaking terms with one another. What do they do? They put the children in the middle.
They demand information from the children about what their ex is doing, and who they are seeing. They require their children to send messages back-and-forth regarding arrangements. Your children are not couriers, nor your personal spies.
If you have any love for your children whatsoever, you won’t do this.
If you and your ex are still in conflict, there should be no conversation during pick-ups and drop offs. This is one of the most stressful times for a child. Not only are they already having to part from one parent, they have to transition into the next home which always requires adjustment. They are often stressed by each parent peppering them with pre and post transition instructions:
- What they’ve eaten
- What they may and may not eat
- When to bath, or when did they last bath
- Same for brushing of teeth
- What homework they have done and or still have to do etc.
The last thing they need is to hear the parents argue and fight during this stressful transition.
For the parents, this can be extremely problematic for the same reasons. They are still in conflict, and don’t trust each other to have done the right thing for the children, or they fear being grilled. Even though they are now trying to ensure the best for their children, the manner and tone in which this is done can drastically alter smoothing the path ahead.
There are many ways to overcome communication issues. Utilizing the assistance of an expert, you can turn things around. There are specific techniques for reducing the conflict in communication, lowering the stress levels of all involved, and improving the co-parenting relationship moving forward.
This barely scratches the surface of where parents go wrong on this issue, even if unintentionally.
David Rosenberg is a divorce coach and conflict management specialist.
If you would like assistance with mediation or coaching, feel free to contact him for a consultation. David can provide the in-depth training and on-going advice to resolve the issues.
Reduce the Cost and Conflict… Succeed and Win.