Witnessing your divorce can be the most difficult thing that your children experience before adulthood. You may have waited for months or several years to file for divorce because you didn’t want to put your children through that stress.
Now that you have decided, you probably want to make things easier for your children. Avoiding the three mistakes below can limit how much emotional stress your children undergo because of your divorce.
Don’t turn custody exchanges into a battle
After years of living together, you and your ex will suddenly have separate households and schedules. The only time you may need to see one another face-to-face is when you exchange custody of the children. Keeping transitions calm and predictable is important for your children.
Don’t treat your ex like an enemy
Some people use their custody agreements or parenting plans like a weapon against their spouse. They may call the police when someone is just a few minutes late returning the children or enforce the rules so pedantically that a parent who has to change their schedule misses out on time with the kids.
Rather than viewing your ex as someone to fight and punish, view them as your partner helping to raise your children and try to focus on seeing them as a good parent.
Don’t talk badly about your ex to the kids or in front of them
One of the hardest parts about going through a divorce is trying to prevent your attitude toward your ex from influencing how your children perceive their other parent.
Your children don’t need to hear about your frustrations regardless of the situation. They also shouldn’t be in a position to overhear you venting to other people on the phone or online.
Keeping the focus on the kids will make it easier for you to adjust to shared custody.