By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
Some parents think once they are divorced and most of the decisions have been made, the worst is behind them. Unfortunately, parenting after divorce is a week by week experience. Your success depends on the decisions you make, your attitude toward your situation and your compassion for your innocent children.
These are some of the most emotionally damaging mistakes for children that parents make when coping with divorce or separation:
1. Fighting around your children – even on the phone or in another room if they can hear you. It does more damage than you can imagine!
2. Failing to remind your children that none of this is in any way their fault. Kids tend to blame themselves for your problems unless you tell them differently.
3. Forgetting to emphasize that Mom and Dad will always be their Mom and Dad and always continue to love them -- even after the divorce! Fear of losing Mom or Dad is an enormous emotional burden.
4. Disparaging, putting down or in any way disrespecting their other parent -- regardless how justified or tempting -- because it creates confusion, guilt, sadness, insecurity and low self-esteem in your children
5. Alienating or keeping your children from having an ongoing loving relationship with their other parent (for your own selfish reasons!) Often they’ll resent you for this when they are grown!
All of these behaviors are bound to backfire on you. If not immediately, then down the line as your children grow and understand more about the world.
You and your children can survive -- and even thrive after divorce. Think before you leap and give your children the best possible opportunity to face the changes ahead by providing them with security, compassion and love.
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Rosalind Sedacca is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. For a freee ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right! as well as other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues, visit: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.