[W]e have so many internal conflicts when we are striving to be a better father, not least when we are going through the divorce process. Sometimes we can feel that we have to protect our kids from all of the pain and anguish that we are going through, but conversely, are we doing as much damage to our children by not letting them in? This begs the question, how much should we really shield our children from the divorce, and is there anything we can do to make the process more palatable for them?
Protecting Your Kids – Consider Their Age First
If your children are very young, it can be more difficult to communicate what’s actually going on. The fact is when they’re of toddling age, but in the same room as divorce lawyers, in-fighting and a generally stressful environment, watching their parents argue can be terribly traumatizing. It’s important that when discussing the divorce procedure with the other parent, you do everything with the children’s best interest at heart. This is very difficult, especially when we are hurt too.
You Have To Respect The Child’s Relationship With The Other Parent
If we are going through our own mixed emotions, and we have unsavory opinions of the other parent, we still have to respect the fact that our children will want to be involved with them. This means that we have to keep negative opinions of the other parent away from Johnny.
Protecting Your Kids – Encouraging The Expression Of Feeling
When our kids are of a certain age, the temptation for them to bottle all their emotions up is an easy option. But, while we might be going through a difficult period in our lives, we have to do our best to get them to express how they are feeling. We shouldn’t avoid confronting the pain, even if we are the reason why they’re struggling emotionally.
It’s An Ongoing Battle
We can view the divorce as a one-off, seismic event, but the fallout can last for months or years. It certainly depends on the circumstances, and there can be changes in arrangements, and if you can remain flexible, this helps to make it easier for the child as well as yourself. Unfortunately, everything can’t be solved in a handful of meetings, it evolves over time. But we still need to keep our children’s best interests at heart. We can feel that we need to shield our kids from every aspect of the divorce because it’s a very painful subject, but this is being overprotective. Instead, to avoid the myriad of complex emotions, we need to work at encouraging our children to express how they feel, but likewise, we have to work with the other parent to ensure that we provide a united front, no matter how acrimonious the split may be.
Shielding your children from the divorce proceedings isn’t a good option, and it’s not achievable. Not only will they feel in the dark, but they may also actually feel that they are to blame. The best way we can progress with a divorce is to do what is best for the kids, by being open and honest, but providing a positive, but realistic, front to ensure that our children aren’t completely psychologically affected.
Contributed post. Feature image via PxHere.