If ever I hear an unhappy couple say the only reason they stay together is for the sake of the kids, I swear to god, I'll bang their damaged heads together. This is oh so wrong of many parents. Listen up! If you're not getting along then it's impossible to have a happy home atmosphere. If there's a bad situation in the family home then this is damaging for the kids period. Children lean by example, and if mum and dad are always shouting, moaning, and whining, this can only have a negative effect on growing minds. So my advice, if you can’t work it out then get separated on a trail basis, and after the separation period, if you still feel there is no hope afterwards, then becoming divorced parents will be better for your kids than being married and miserable ones.
Parenting is one of the toughest jobs that we will undertake in our life time. Our children are exposed to so many things through the media, internet, peers and cell phone access that it is very difficult to keep tract of what our children are doing and what information they have access to. This task is even more difficult for divorced parents which is why getting divorced should not mean that the child's parents discontinue a parental relationship and therefore need to keep a civil communication between themselves for the sake of the kids.
When children live in more than one household it takes good communications to keep tract of what they are doing. Divorced parents need to be aware of what the children are allowed to do and access in each other’s homes. This can be accomplished through direct communication. A huge mistake that many divorced parents make is trying to communicate through the children, especially if that communication is used for bitter exchanges. You probably know the kind of thing. I remember my mother always using us to pass on snide remarks to our dad and making sure he understood the limits of his divorced fathers rights or lack or.
This is a mistake for several reasons. The main reason is that it places the children in the middle. It also pressures a child to be able to deliver a message word for word, which studies have shown most adults cannot do. Another reason why trying to communication through the children is ineffective is that it allows room for the child to manipulate the messages, which can result in misdirected anger. I could be wrong here, but it's been my experience that divorced women seem to be more bitter and vindictive than divorced Fathers, which I find quite amazing considering that most cases the courts give the family home and custordy of the kids to the moms.
Most people do not like the role of playing messenger between two people and this goes for children too. The messenger is often in the position of being exposed to the person’s reaction to the message. Divorced parents forget that most time the children want to be left out of the emotional baggage that may exist between them. The children need to feel that they are permitted to love both of their parents. Having to hear responses about messages they are delivering may make this difficult and parents that get divorced or legally separated should be mindful of this.
If divorced parents are able to agree to put their differences aside when they are dealing with parenting issues, things can run much smoother. If the children know that their divorced parents are openly communicating about the activities of the children, they will feel more secure. This will also greatly decrease the ability of the children to manipulate their divorced parents. Studies have shown that children crave having a set routine. It is comforting for them to know what is in store for them, especially during the school year, when they are also faced with learning and peer issues. Through good communications children can have this routine, even if their time is divided between two households.
It might sound a little cynical, but divorce has become so commonplace these days, it’s a wonder folks don’t prepare themselves for it better so as to avoid all the upset and misery when the time comes. Ok, cynicism over, the fact of the matter is that most divorced couples need a little help and support and there are many services and support groups which include counselling and literature, and often there is some form of support for the children of divorced families too. Most of these services are available free of charge or for a very minimal fee. Having a support group gives the parents a place to vent without putting their children in the middle.
And finally, if you are the parents of young children, and you are newly divorced or separated, then this doesn't mean you should hop onto the divorced singles bandwagon at the first available opportunity. God only knows there's enough new turmoil for the offspring's to cope with as it is, let alone having mum or dad's new partner thrown into the equation before they've had chance to adjust to their now upside-down world. Sure, you may be lonely since the split, but a little discretion is clearly needed in those sensitive early days of adjustment, and the kid's welfare should always come first. Enough said!