This guest today was created by Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, who is recognized as The Voice of Child-Centered Divorce. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed ebook: How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! We ran a great teleclass last night about Parenting and Dating After Divorce. You can learn more about Rosalind at the end of the post. I added some commentary after each point based on our discussion last night in which I learned a lot of valuable information!
The 10 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make that Affect their Children After Divorce
- Fighting in front of the children: studies show this does the most damage. According to Rosalind, it is actually the fighting, not the divorce that has the greatest impact. Given that, you light want to think about how and when you fight and if you can hold off to handle things in private out of ear shot of your children.
- Failing to remind children that none of this is in any way their fault – they are innocent. Sometimes parents experience marital discord forget how what they are going through impacts their children. Do what you can to reassure them so they never have to feel guilty or like its their fault.
- Forgetting to emphasize that Mom and Dad will always be their Mom and Dad — even after divorce! Children may get confused about what your split means to them. Make sure they know that you are still their parents no matter what.
- Confiding adult details to children in order to attract their allegiance or sympathy which creates guilt and confusion within kids because they’re not prepared to handle it. Rely on friends and family to blow off steam or get advice. Leave your children out of the equation.
- Asking children to bear the weight of making decisions or choosing sides. Discuss what is going to happen with your ex spouse before presenting to the kids. Don’t ask them to choose between you because this causes lasting damage when they have to pick a side.
- Using your children as spies to provide you information about your ex. Either get your information another way or take this opportunity to let go if you can so that you don’t make your kids do your dirty work.
- Using your children as intermediaries: providing messages, answering questions and communicating with your ex in your absence. take responsibility for communicating with your ex so that this doesn’t weigh your children down or cause friction for them with the other parent.
- Putting down, disrespecting or in any way alienating the other parent: devastating, confusing – makes them feel guilty for loving their other parent. Be a model of healthy adult behavior for your children. Even if you have lost all respect for your ex, do what you can to keep it to yourself when it comes to your children.
- Lying to the children to justify decisions you made that disrespect their other parent. They’ll resent you when they are grown adults. No one likes to be lied to as you know already. Don’t do this when they are young either.
- Neglecting to repeatedly remind children that they are safe, innocent and very much loved. This helps them feel more secure and weather the emotional challenges and upheaval caused by divorce.
Rosalind is also the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents. She is an Advisor at ParentalWisdom.com and serves on the Board of Directors of Child-Sharing, Inc. She is a featured blogger for The Huffington Post and Mamapedia, a contributor to Divorce360.com and a writer for dozens of other national blogs and divorce websites. In addition Rosalind was the 2008 National First Place Winner of the Victorious Woman Award.
If you would like to learn more about Rosalind’s audio coaching program Mastering Child Centered Divorce, please click here