This was previously published on my blog at www.afterdivorce.net. It's an important message to share!
For those of us unfortunate enough to have gone through a divorce, we know it is a tumultuous time in everyone’s life. For you, your ex, both of your extended families, and mostly your children. In fact, you may find yourself thinking and doing things that are out of character of your true self. If you talk to anyone who has gone through it, it is astounding how you will always hear “I don’t know who this person is anymore.” Sadly, they are right! Divorce is life altering and the person you once thought had your back, is the same person wanting to stab you in the back, at least in court.
It’s a fact that people going through divorce are usually more emotionally off keel (temporarily) due to the stress they are under. Because of this they don’t always make rational decisions. However, when children are involved it is imperative to keep as much normalcy as possible for their sake and their long-term stability.
Below is a partial list I found online in an article from Lois Misiewicz (2011). This isn’t her complete list, I made quite a few additions and deletions. Keep in mind, these are not always easy to follow, but in the end taking the high road, even when you know your former spouse isn’t, will send clear signals to your children that they can trust and rely on you. Some of these may sound simple, but again, nothing is simple when it comes to divorce.
4. Your children should not know the details of your divorce… regardless of
their age. They still have a right to love the other parent. Less is more here.
5. If you are in a new relationship don’t expect your children to fall head over
heels for that person just because you have. Keep your emotions at bay. In
fact it would be best for your children to only meet people you see a future
6. If you feel the need to talk trash about your spouse don’t do it when there is
even a remote possibility your children will hear you (another very hard thing
7. Don’t question the children regarding the activities of your (ex) spouse. You
are both done, so move on!
8. You can't change what has already ready happened so don’t continually
rehash the past. Try instead to learn from it for your future relationships.
9. Your children are not messengers. Aside from putting them right in the
middle, you are also relying upon the child to get the message to your spouse
correctly and in the manner you meant it. Do your own communication.
10. Don’t stop the children from seeing the other parent because he or she owes you money.
I know during the process I myself made a few blunders and did things I shouldn’t have. But as time wore on, I realized the only people I was hurting were those I loved the most: my children. If you try to adhere to this advice, you will find your behavior shifting toward rationality and maturity daily. Yes, it is easier said than done, but your child’s well-being is really on the line here, and in many respects, so is yours.
I would love to hear your stories or your comments.
I write Picture Books, Chapter Books and YA.